The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee for the COVID-19 Pandemic, in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development, DED, has allocated teams to communicate with private companies in Abu Dhabi to discuss their needs and obligations towards their expatriate employees.
The move follows the leadership’s directives regarding the protection of workers and their rights, and to support private sector companies.
To protect workers’ rights and ensure business continuity, the Committee has already communicated with more than 3,400 companies to assess to what extent they have been impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The needs of private companies in order to be able to execute current and future projects were also discussed, as well as their medical, financial and legal obligations towards their workers.
Following discussions with private companies, the Committee offered its support in a number of ways: covering the costs of screening for workers and all those living in workers’ complexes and industrial cities; providing free medical treatment to all infected cases; coordinating with entities to facilitate and accelerate all legal procedures related to workers’ rights; and negotiating with third parties to cover any overdue payments for companies, enabling them to pay their workers’ wages.
More than 1.3 million workers have benefited from these services, as well as receiving follow-ups from the Committee to ensure their welfare. In addition, the Committee has coordinated repatriation flights for 293,000 workers to their home countries since March 2020, having made sure they are all free of infection and received all their wages and dues.
In addition, 400 residents of industrial cities were trained to provide psychological support to workers. Awareness materials in 5 languages on COVID-19 were distributed.
The Committee reaffirmed its commitment to continue supporting workers and private sector companies, and remain in close contact with them in order to address any difficulties they may face and take all necessary measures to solve them.
The Committee also urged private sector companies to ensure workers’ wellbeing, and consider it a top priority, as well as collaborate with the Department of Economic Development to address any challenges that may impact the local labour market.