As we all know, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown has forced many law firms into hardship – and although we are gradually coming out of lockdown that doesn’t mean there aren’t still challenges ahead. It may pay to consider lower-paying jobs and outsourcing to make ends meet in the meantime.
As lockdown is slowly lifted, law firms will be looking to get back into business and onto an even keel as swiftly as possible. However, they will also probably be looking to cut costs to do so.
This needs to be balanced with the knowledge that certain types of work are likely to be more abundant than others in the immediate aftermath of lockdown. For example; commercial leases and contracts, tenancy agreements, general contractual disputes, divorce and family law, probate, will writing, employment contract, and company mergers and acquisitions, etc. These are areas you want to be sure you can service effectively and profitably from the minute your doors open again for business.
However, some of these areas are at the lower end of the fee scale and may not be work you generally focus on. Perhaps in the past they haven’t been profitable enough to form a key part of the business, but with demand likely to be high, now might be the time to reconsider.
An employer in the UAE should pay salary to its employees for the period the employee works for him.
Question: I am employed by a contracting company. My employer requires me to sign an amendment to my employment contract stating that I will be on unpaid leave for two weeks in a month for the next four months and my salary shall be deducted accordingly. My employer is asking me to work during the unpaid leave period. Am not I entitled to full salary if I do work for the employer the entire month?
Pursuant to your query, it is assumed that you are employed in a mainland company based in the UAE. It is further assumed that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, your employer considers to place you on unpaid leave for two weeks in a month for the next four months with reduced salary. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') and the provisions of Ministerial Resolution No. (279) of 2020 concerning the employment stability in establishments of the private sector during the application of precautionary measures to control novel coronavirus outbreak ('Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020') are applicable.
It should be noted that an employer in the UAE may call upon an employee to avail unpaid leave if the employer is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is in accordance with Article 2 of the Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020, which states: "Establishments affected by the precautionary measures referred to above, who wish to reorganise its employment relations, shall take the following measures gradually and in agreement with the non-national employee.
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