Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 29 May 2020

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi issues guidelines for people returning to work

Parents who need to work remotely while schools are closed must be allowed to do so

Abu Dhabi has issued a set of guidelines to ensure the safe return of employees heading back to offices, retail outlets and other places of work.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development outlined six steps that employers must adhere to during the transitional return to work phase.

The instructions aim to ensure the “health and safety of employees”, as more people start heading back to work over the coming weeks and months.

Those who can continue to work effectively from home have been encouraged to do so.

Parents must also be given the option to work remotely by their employer while schools are closed.

Workers between the ages of 18 to 55 can return to the workplace to continue their duties, given that they do not suffer with or live with anyone who has underlying health issues.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development outlines six steps that employers must adhere to during the return to work phase. Victor Besa / The National 
The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development outlines six steps that employers must adhere to during the return to work phase. Victor Besa / The National 

Employees who suffer from chronic diseases or a compromised immunity who are over 55 will not be allowed to return to the workplace as yet, due to risk of infection.

The same rules apply for pregnant women and those over 60. Employers have been advised not to penalise or put pressure on those not eligible to return to work.

Under existing rules set out by emergency authority NCEMA, no more than 30 per cent of the total workforce can be in the workplace at any one time.

Social distancing between employees and the sanitisation of both work and communal spaces must be carried out regularly, by all employers.

Rashed Al Balooshi, undersecretary of Added, said the guidelines have been developed according to government advice to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He stressed the importance of following the guidelines in order to prepare for business reopening.

The advisory focused on a number of additional measures for those working across specific sectors including wholesale and retail, construction, transport, manufacturing and utilities and hospitality.

Employers operating in the retail sector with more than 30 employees on site have been directed to install thermal cameras at shop entrances.

Staff must adhere to a number of precautionary safety measures including the use of protective clothing and reduced contact with customers and colleagues. The advisory also mandates that all purchasing transactions should done from behind a plastic or glass barrier via electronic payment methods.

For those working on construction sites or on-site offices, they must undergo temperature checks, don protective wear, stagger breaks among workers to avoid crowding, and avoid the oversharing of equipment where necessary.

Updated: May 17, 2020 02:49 PM

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