UAE firms seek ways to pay for work from home expenses

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Employers in the UAE are looking into ways to help staff with the increased costs caused by working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“One of our clients recently raised a point where employees are asking extra allowance because they are working from home and there [are] greater expenses. Employees are using more electricity, Wi-Fi, drinking their own coffee, printing more and using more ink when working from home,” legal director and co-head of employment at DWF Middle East Thenji Moyo was quoted as saying.

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UAE authorities have introduced various discounts for utilities during the lockdown period, such as 10 percent off water and electricity in Dubai and 10 percent off on chiller bills for some areas.

However, employment claims and disputes will continue rising during the next six months, Managing Partner and co-head of employment at DWF Middle East Shiraz Sethi said.

There are also reports of companies requiring employees to use accumulated leave that has built up during the coronavirus lockdown, Moyo added.

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“A lot of companies have contacted us to say that not many people are taking leave because the borders were shut… so companies are looking at introducing policies to make sure all employees are aware that they should utilize their leaves before the end of the year,” the report quoted Moyo.

Other companies are reviewing employment contracts, where staff have been left idle since the pandemic started, she added.

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