22/09/2020 Indians Worry Over UAE Job Losses Rejimon Kuttappan Apr 1, 2020, 8:40 AM Coronavirus States Our Journalists Write-In Indian migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are worried as the Emirates has allowed COVID-19-hit private sector to send their employees on paid or unpaid leave. “We were expecting this to happen. I have decided to go back to India. During the economic downturn and at this age, people like me are not going to get a new job somewhere else too,” Sunil Nair, a 50-year-old senior manager in a retail company in Abu Dhabi, told The Lede. The fresh UAE decree states that businesses hit by Coronavirus can implement a remote work system for their employees, send them on paid or unpaid leave and temporarily or permanently reduce their salaries. “UAE is a global business hub. The majority of the migrant workers are into the business sector. And this is the sector that is going to be hit hard due to the global downturn of Coronavirus spread. There would be a massive lay off happening,” Sunil added. According to Indian parliament data, there are 3.4 million Indians in UAE and the majority of them are low and mid-level workers. The decision which comes into effect from March 26, also states that business houses can reduce their staff strength but that surplus staff must be registered in the ministry's virtual job market so that they can be hired by other companies. Even though the decision makes it mandatory for companies to provide employees with accommodation and other dues, but not salaries, while they are made redundant, Sunil said that, “In simple words, it means that it is laying off of workers.” Ramesh Kumar, a migrant worker in the construction sector, said that pay is going to be a lot more trouble. “Already we have a backlog of two months' salary. Now this month's salary will also be delayed. We don’t know whether they are going to cut our salary or not. We are a small company. And we will have to adjust. Being here is not going to help us anymore,” Ramesh said. Meanwhile, a social worker in Abu Dhabi said that poor blue-collar workers and midlevel workers are the ones going to be affected by such restructurings. https://www.thelede.in/inclusion/2020/04/01/indians-worry-over-uae-job-losses 2/7

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