As we reported earlier in our inBrief dated 3 April 2020, Ministerial Resolution No. 281 of 2020 (the “Resolution”), promulgated by the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation on 29 March 2020, contains a requirement that all employers must test their employees for symptoms of COVID-19 at least twice a day, upon entering and upon leaving the workplace. The requirement is contained in Article 2(b) of the Resolution.
Employees are to be checked for temperature and for other symptoms of the Corona virus.
Our firm has made inquiries to contacts in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) on the scope of this requirement. The Resolution in general discusses employers of labourers who are transported from workers’ accommodation to construction sites and back. However, the MOHRE contacts with whom we spoke uniformly advised us that the testing requirement applies generally, even to office workers.
It is our impression that compliance with this requirement is not widespread, and that the authorities’ enforcement efforts have been otherwise engaged so far. Moreover, with the enhanced restrictions on movement in Dubai that were introduced on 4 April 2020, the issue could well be moot for many employers. However, it is our firm’s advice that, in an abundance of caution, employers should now be testing those employees who continue to report to the workplace, and that other employers should prepare to do the same once the current restrictions on movement come to an end. ■