The UAE has committed a new violation of the rights of foreign migrant workers by imposing leave without pay during the emerging coronavirus crisis.
Unlike most countries in the world that resorted to granting workers and employees leave with pay during the coronavirus crisis, the UAE insisted on discriminating and abusing migrant workers without regard to incurring significant financial losses.
The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, in cooperation with other government agencies, launched what it described as an “early leave” initiative aimed at enabling residents working in the private sector to return to their countries during the period of precautionary measures taken at the country level to prevent and limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The alleged initiative included submitting annual leave dates for workers residing in the Emirates or agreeing with their establishments to grant them unpaid leave.
The emerging crisis of the coronavirus has highlighted the severity of the inferno suffered by migrant workers in the UAE, with its black record of human rights violations.
Unlike most countries in the world that have resorted to support workers and grant them paid leave, the UAE has issued arbitrary decisions that violate the most basic rights of workers and employees in the globally spreading virus crisis.
Millions of foreign workers in the UAE face high risks with regard to their rights, with Abu Dhabi announcing comprehensive closures and the failure of operators to pay salaries or consider the possibility of dismissing employees.
An international organization specialized in defending the rights of migrant workers condemned the UAE decisions that allow companies to violate the rights of workers and employees and ignore international demands to support people with low incomes, including the payment of their full salaries and grant them paid leave in the wake of the emerging coronavirus crisis.
Migrant-Rights.org, a GCC-based organization, has strongly criticized the decisions of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the UAE, which authorizes corona-affected companies to “reorganize the business structure” through several steps.
The aforementioned steps include: applying the remote work system, granting paid leave, granting unpaid leave, temporarily reducing wages, and permanently reducing wages.
The international organization stated that these procedures apply only to “non-national” employees – a distinction that makes migrant workers (of all income groups) fully exploited.