Unvaccinated government workers isolating at home must use annual leave

The move will affect staff with Covid-19 or who have had close contact with an infected person

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Unvaccinated government workers who have contracted Covid-19 or come into close contact with an infected person must use up annual leave while in isolation, under new guidelines issued on Wednesday.

They could also be asked to work from home while in quarantine, according to the directive issued by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources.

It stated that employers who have already used up their holiday allowance must take unpaid leave if required to isolate.

Workers must “complete all tasks given to them by their employer during quarantine”, a circular from the authority said.

Federal employees are expected to isolate for at least 10 days if they catch the virus or have close contact with someone who has.

“If the employee is not vaccinated then the quarantine period will be deducted from their annual leave and if they have no annual leave days then the days will be considered unpaid leave,” the circular stated.

“They are also to complete all tasks given to them by their employer during quarantine.”

Vaccinated employees who have come into contact with a Covid-positive case must also quarantine and work from home, according to health authorities’ guidelines. But they will not be required to use annual leave to do so.

This month, it was announced that UAE government employees who have not been immunised against Covid-19 must take a weekly PCR test.

The rule requires employees to pay for their own tests.

Staff who have had both doses of the vaccine are exempt.

As part of the new measures, federal employees who have been vaccinated with one or two doses or are required to go into quarantine must register with the human resource authority's online portal, Bayanati.

Requests to work from home can be made through the service.

Government authorities are to submit a weekly report on numbers of employees who have contracted the virus or been in contact or who have taken one or two doses of the vaccine.

An online workshop will be held by the authority on Monday to explain the updated guidelines.

The UAE has embarked on a nationwide immunisation campaign with the aim of vaccinating half of its population by the end of March.

Close to 2.7 million doses of vaccine have already been given to the public as part of the major health initiative.