Abu Dhabi government employee housing and education benefits now tied to living in capital

Government workers living outside Abu Dhabi will have a year to move to the emirate to benefit from allowances

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Abu Dhabi government employees must live in the capital and send their children to local schools to benefit from housing and education allowances under new rules.
The emirate's media office said the decision applied to Emirati and non-Emirati employees.
Anyone living outside Abu Dhabi will have one year to relocate or make necessary arrangements, according to the notice.

Emirati government staff who live in the capital will be entitled to "full housing allowance in line with their job grade".

Non-Emirati employees who own property in the emirate will, for the first time, also be paid full housing benefits according to their job grade. Previously, non-Emiratis would only receive housing benefits if they were renting a property.

Non-Emirati staff who rent a property in Abu Dhabi will be entitled to an annual housing allowance in line with their job grade, paid directly to the landlord.

Eligible employees will receive education allowance for their children if they attend schools in Abu Dhabi, as per the company's policy.

On Thursday, the Department of Government Support said the expansion of allowances for Emirati and non-Emirati employees sought to "enhance productivity, maintain health and safety, support family and social lives, and reduce traffic congestion and accidents".

The policies were developed by the Human Resources Authority based on studies it carried out.

Workshops will be organised to ensure HR departments are up to speed with the new policies.

In 2013, scores of Abu Dhabi government employees moved to the capital after housing benefits became conditional on obligatory residence in the emirate.

Workers were given a year to relocate or risk losing housing allowances.

Some exceptions were made for specific cases after evaluation by the Executive Council.

The decision was made to increase productivity, put an end to illegal renting practices and reduce the number of traffic accidents.