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Mon 18 May 2020 02:50 PM

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UAE Foreign Minister vows to protect rights of all workers

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has outlined measures to preserve health and safety of workers in letter to International Labour Organisation

UAE Foreign Minister vows to protect rights of all workers

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has vowed to protect the rights of all workers in the country and ensure their health and safety during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Sheikh Abdullah said the best way to negotiate through the crisis was to safeguard the rights of employees in general, “irrespective of citizenship or immigration status”.

He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic threatens the health, safety and welfare of all people around the world and necessitates a comprehensive global response addressing health, labour, the economy, and human rights.”

The UAE has initiated a number of measures to protect employment and support the economy since the outbreak, including a $27 billion support scheme to alleviate liquidity issues faced by businesses.

The letter describes the measures taken to partner with the private sector to provide protective equipment, ensure social distancing and encourage remote work, sterilise work facilities, and issue mandatory certification prior to restarting economic activity.

The UAE Government has also outlined requirements for private sector workplaces, transport, and accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic and is conducting inspections to ensure compliance.

Sheikh Abdullah also highlighted the ‘10 Million Meals’ campaign; the provision of support for medical, food, education and other basic needs; and the provision of support to the families of those who succumb to Covid-19, regardless of nationality and for the duration of the pandemic.

Other measures include the automatic renewal of work permits, free Covid-19 testing and treatment for those who require it, and voluntary repatriation to workers’ home countries with no impact on employment.

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