The current outlook of the novel coronavirus situation is still uncertain, and as the world continues to battle with the invisible enemy, companies plan and implement measures to mitigate its impact. This, in turn, has affected thousands of individuals globally. The UAE government has taken several measures and implemented rules to support those who have been affected here. If the current circumstances have impacted your employment, here are a few tips on what you can do to navigate through these times.
Know your rights:
According to a recent decree issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, if you are made redundant during these times, you need to make sure you receive a notice letter and pay from the company in accordance with your employment contract at least one month before the termination. If you have completed one year of service, the company is also legally compelled to pay you for any untaken annual leave and an end of service gratuity. If you decide to move back to your country of citizenship, your employer should bear the travel expenses of you and your family once flights resume. The employers are also obliged to provide accommodation or housing allowance until you leave the country or find another job.
If you don’t receive any of these, and if you are unable to sort it out with the employer, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources that will help you solve the dispute amicably and provide you with your dues.
Create a list of your expenditure:
It is always a great idea to create a detailed list of all your upcoming expenses and where you think your money might be spent to plan the coming months, especially when you are low on funds. By doing this, you can address all your essential time-sensitive payments like mortgage/rent payments, bills, school fees, or necessary grocery shopping. You can also compare this to your past expenditure and create a strategy and a tight budget to cut out as many unnecessary costs as possible until you get back up on your feet.
Reach out to your banks for reliefs:
Due to the current circumstances, the UAE Central Bank has set up a directive for banks in the UAE to support customers by offering several reliefs. If you have any outstanding loan payments you are currently unable to pay such as a mortgage, car loan, or personal loan, you should contact your bank immediately and inform them of your situation at the earliest so you can access any of the reliefs provided by your bank.
Each bank has different relief policies offered to those who have been tested positive for COVID-19, have suffered a job loss, a salary cut, or have been put on unpaid leave. Some banks defer loan payments by a few installments, some eliminate any interest or fees or allow lower payments for a couple of months. Along with the aid on regular loan payments, a lot of banks also offer a refund on cash withdrawal charges done through debit cards and provide tailored reliefs for credit card payments. To know what reliefs offered are applicable for your situation, reach out to your lender to get the appropriate support.
Speak to your landlord:
Along with banks, even landlords in the country are loosening their rules and providing more flexibility to accommodate their tenants impacted by COVID-19. If you want some relief on your rent or are unable to pay it on time, reach out to your landlord for any support. Like banks, the reliefs provided differ from landlord to landlord. Some landlords reduce the rent, or some offer an extension by a few months.
In the rare case, your landlord refuses to act in fair solidarity and threatens to evict you despite you having strong reasoning for wanting aid, Article 249 of the civil code says you can reach out to the court to find the right level of rental relief for you based on your situation and the landlord will be legally obliged to offer you help.
Apply for a new job:
This is a given, but if you’ve made redundant from your old job, the most effective thing to do to earn a steady income is to get back on your feet and apply for a new one. You can look for openings and apply on online portals like ours (dubizzle jobs). In addition to this, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has set up the UAE Virtual Labour Market to make the job hunt journey easier on the workforce that has been impacted by the effect of the virus on businesses. The portal advertises a variety of temporary to permanent jobs in several fields. All you have to do is brush up your resume and post your details on the website https://careers.mohre.gov.ae/ to access all the job openings.
Though this is a hard time, try to remain calm and trust that with the relief measures in place by the government, you will be able to find the required solutions to navigate through this crisis and overcome the challenges you are currently facing.