Workers can rely on government support, Sheikh Abdullah says
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to protecting the rights of workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the country was doing its utmost to support workers, no matter where they were from.
Sheikh Abdullah made his comments in a letter to Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organisation.
Sheikh Abdullah called on all nations to unite against the threats posed by the pandemic.
“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,” he said.
“The UAE firmly believes that the best way to address the pandemic is through international solidarity and global co-operation.”
Protecting the rights of all people “irrespective of citizenship or immigration status” is vital to tackling the effects of the outbreak on labour, he said.
The UAE Central Bank has introduced a US$27 billion (Dh99.16bn) economic support initiative to ease the financial pressure on businesses.
Sheikh Abdullah also outlined measures to promote worker safety.
He said the UAE was collaborating with employers in the private sector to provide employees with protective equipment, ensure social distancing and encourage remote work, as well as disinfecting work areas.
The government also issued instructions to be followed at private-sector workplaces, transport hubs and accommodation during the pandemic and will conduct inspections to ensure the rules are followed.
A Covid-19 information centre has been set up to provide updates in Arabic, English, Urdu, Chinese, Hindi, Bengali and Tagalog.
An outreach programme will also continue to provide information to workers in the country about safety and healthcare options.
Sheikh Abdullah said the government would introduce initiatives such as the 10 Million Meals campaign led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice
President and Ruler of Dubai, to help those most in need during the pandemic.
The government recently ensured the automatic renewal of work permits and free coronavirus tests and treatment for those who require it.
The UAE Central Bank has introduced a $27 billion economic support plan to help businesses
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, is urging global unity