The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) announced the return of 100% of Federal Government employees to their workplaces starting from July 05, 2020. The decision constitutes an important step towards achieving the UAE's strategy after "Coved 19" in which the country seeks to be one of the fastest growing countries in the world through the resumption of various economic and social activities while taking all necessary preventive measures.
Limiting exceptional cases to only one category of employees
The Authority has circulated the decision to all federal entities, requesting them to cancel all exceptions granted to employees working in the Federal Government, except that category of employees with chronic diseases, upon presentation of a detailed medical report approved by the relevant medical committee.
The decision also requested the federal entities to adhere to a set of controls, first and foremost, the implementation of the guidelines for the office work environment and working from the Federal Government workplaces.
Federal entities should also observe safety standards and adhere to the provisions of the guidelines issued by the Authority, and any instructions related to occupational health and safety, including social distancing and taking precautionary measures to protect the employees.
Continuation of flexible working hours and remote work
The decision stressed the need to continue flexible work hours, and divide employees into groups during attendance and departure to limit crowding and direct contact as far as possible, as well as the remote work system approved in the Federal Government in accordance with the system’s controls, standards and provisions, to ensure the continuity of service provision, smooth workflow and productivity.
A large number of benchmarking studies and research were reviewed before taking the return to office work, especially the Safe Return to Workplace Protocol, prepared by the competent committee in the Ministry of Health and Prevention in, coordination with Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Dubai Health Authority and the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
Moreover, the decision reflects the flexible strategy adopted by the UAE Government during the last period to deal efficiently with the challenges that accompanied the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in various countries of the world. The crisis revealed that the Federal Government units were fully prepared to face it, and showed great capability to develop systems and work methods able to adapt to the exceptional situations in a manner that ensures business continuity and observes public health and safety standards.