Federal government urges flexible schedules in case of bad weather

Federal government bodies have been urged to adopt flexible schedules for their employees during bad weather.

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ABU DHABI // Federal government bodies have been urged to adopt flexible schedules for their employees during bad weather.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources issued circular No 15 of 2016 on Tuesday, saying that the recommendation was intended to help ensure employees’ safety during their daily commutes to and from work.

It called on federal ministries and bodies to implement procedures guarantee their employees’ safety during commutes and allow them to arrive late in bad weather conditions.

The authority said these entities should educate employees about traffic safety while driving to and from work. According to the circular, federal laws on human resource allow for flexible work hours that enable employees to determine their schedules without “creating any conflict between their circumstances and their jobs”.

The move follows storms last month that brought flooding across the UAE and left trees uprooted and property damaged. Motorists on the E11 were stranded for hours on March 9 after accumulated rainwater formed a “lake” at Jebel Ali, with Dubai Police saying that more than 3,000 calls had been made to its command room because of the record-breaking weather.

Last week, Federal National Council member Hamad Al Rahoomi, from Dubai, had called on the authority to issue an official decision about allowing delays to work, so managers did not penalise employees who could otherwise endanger themselves on the roads.

Hussain Al Hammadi, head of the authority as well as Minister of Education, had told Mr Al Rahoomi at the session that the provisions already existed under the flexible work hours policy, saying that employees and managers need to made aware of it.

The authority had at the end of last year launched an Occupational Health and Safety Manual for the Federal Government, based on international practises and cooperation with other federal bodies. The manual is a seven-chapter guide to creating a healthy and safety work environment.

According to the most recent World Health Organisation global world safety report, based on 2013 figures, there were 10.9 deaths per 100,000 motorists on UAE roads, with Ministry of Interior officials pledging to reduce it to 3 or 3.5 in the next three years.