COVID-19 impact: UAE, KSA entities offer remote work option

Elderly, pregnant employees, People of Determination, offered remote working solutions to curb the spread of coronavirus

COVID-19 impact: UAE, Saudi Arabia entities offer remote work option [representative image]
COVID-19 impact: UAE, Saudi Arabia entities offer remote work option [representative image]

The UAE's government entities — including Abu Dhabi's Department of Health, the Sharjah Human Resources Department, Dubai Chamber, and Sharjah Chamber — are turning to a remote working system, as part of the preventive measures undertaken to prevent further spread of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

A survey conducted by Gulf job portal GulfTalent indicates that one-third of Gulf-based employers plan to have staff work from home, in light of the virus outbreak.

In UAE, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), has published the Business Continuity Readiness Guidelines for organisations in the region.

Under its remote work strategy pillar, the guidelines cover "the readiness of the technical infrastructure of the organisations to work remotely; readiness of employees to use technology of remote work; ability to manage systems internally or remotely; and the possibility of outsourcing the implementation of critical activities according to the nature of work in the organisation", among other aspects.

The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DHA - Abu Dhabi) stated on its website that "it has begun applying the partial remote work system to a group of its employees," while placing emphasis on a virtual network system to ensure smooth flow of the organisation.

The Sharjah Human Resources Department confirmed on its official Twitter account that it has rolled out a remote working system for specific groups of citizens in government agencies, including the pregnant, elderly, and people of determination.

In addition, the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), has implemented the working system for a number of departments, particularly for its elderly and pregnant employees.

In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has encouraged companies, private institutions, and charitable societies to reduce the number of employees at workplaces, with a focus on electronic remote work, which will be granted to pregnant women, and those with respiratory, cardiac, or hereditary diseases, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

The kingdom's entertainment, sports, and arts hub - the Qiddiya gigaproject - has also offered the option of remote work to its employees, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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