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New rule mandates Federal employees to undergo PCR tests every 14 days

06 January 2021

As per the latest rules, effective 17th January 2021, all employees working in the Ministries and Federal departments will have to undertake PCR tests every 14 days at their own expense.

The circular has been issued to all federal ministries and entities by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, introducing fresh Covid-19 measures which aim to address the pandemic at the level of Federal government, to reduce its repercussions, and safeguard the health of employees.

All Federal authorities have been urged to follow the Covid-19 precautionary measures irrespective of whether they are employees of outsourcing and public service companies, or employees of consulting services and expertise houses.

The measures for employees of ministries and federal departments as stipulated by the circular indicate that they should possess a negative PCR test certificate every 14 days, and the test should be done at employee’s own expense.

However, employees who have already taken the Covid-19 vaccine, and those who produce a report or medical certificate indicating the reason for not being able to receive the vaccine either due to health or illness, they shall be exempted, provided, the federal government entity undertakes to conduct a PCR test for them every 14 days.

Meanwhile, employees of outsourcing companies, public services companies and the like, which are hired by the federal government entities at present or in the future, should conduct a nasal swab test / PCR test every two weeks at the expense of their companies. This is applicable only to employees who are present in the company on a daily basis. However, employees who have received the Covid-19 vaccine will be excluded from this rule.

The circular also makes the rule applicable to employees of consulting firms, expert houses and the like, if they are under contract of the federal entities, particularly if their employees are required to be present at the workplace to attend meetings, discussions and other tasks. In such a case, the government entity should ensure that the employees are having a valid PCR test for a period of not more than 3 days. In this case too, employees who received the Covid-19 vaccine are exempted.

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources has urged all ministries and federal authorities to encourage their employees and workers to go ahead for the vaccine, as the Health Ministry has made the Covid-19 vaccine free of charge at all health centres affiliated with the ministry across all emirates and health centres belonging to the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, apart from several private hospitals.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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