Following the publication last week of Ministerial Decision No. 279/2020 on employment of non-citizen employees in the private sector during the COVID-19 crisis which changed rules on transfer of employees, salary payments and recruitment, the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has published an addendum to the Decision. This addendum was referred to in Article 5 of Ministerial Decision No. 279/2020. Article 5 says companies looking to reduce the wages of a non-citizen employee temporarily during the relevant period have to conclude a ‘temporary additional appendix’ to the labour contract between the two parties, provided it expires with the expiration of the term of the contract or the period of validity of this Decision, whichever is earlier. It goes on to say the appendix can be renewed with the approval of both parties and two copies must be prepared. Both the employer and employee should keep a copy. The employer will have to submit it to the Human Resources and Emiratisation Ministry when asked to do so.
Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister has announced they have amended the Implementing Regulations of Saudi Arabia Cabinet Decision No. 649/1440. The amendments include is a clause on extraordinary circumstances which include pandemics like Coronavirus. It will ease the procurement process during times like this. They will come into force on 24 April 2020. The amendments include allowing the committee for opening the bids to open the financial bids and allow for confiscating a guarantee and revoking a contract if the contractor left before they signed the contract and following issuing a notice to them. Previously the charter only allowed for cancelling the award decision. Under the amendments, prior qualification procedures can be done for work over 50 million Riyals in value. Previously the charter permitted performing post qualification procedures if a prior one had not been completed.
We have launched a public COVID-19 News Blog, https://www.c19lexismena.com/ which provides free access to the latest legal and tax updates related to COVID-19 in the MENA region in both English and French. It has been produced by Lexis® Middle East and Lexis® Maroc.
The Kuwaiti Central Bank has issued a circular to banks requesting them not to submit their financial data for the first quarter. This circular adds banks to the list of companies that have been exempt from submitting their financial data for the first quarter and postpones it to the second quarter. The Central Bank said that all banks, except the Industrial Bank, will be able to provide their data pursuant to the provisions of Article 82 of Kuwait Law No. 32/1968 on e cash, the central bank of Kuwait, and the regulation of the banking profession and its amendments.
Bahrain’s King has approved amendments to the country’s Commercial Companies Law. Under Bahrain Law No. 6/2020, Article 284(A) of Bahrain Decree-Law No. 21/2001 will be amended to read as follows ‘Each partner shall have the right to attend the meetings of the general assembly either in person or by his proxy, provided that the proxy shall not be from among the members of the control board, the company’s manager or among the company’s employees. The special proxy shall be in writing and prepared by the company for this purpose. Each partner shall have a number of votes equal to the shares he owns in the company’. The Prime Minister and the Ministers will implement the law. It will come into force the day after it is published in the Official Gazette.
Dr Walid Alsamaani, the Justice Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, has issued directives to launch a platform for electronic auctioning which will enables customers to participate in judicial auctions without the need to attend them in person. The platform will be rolled out in Riyadh first then will be expanded to cover i other cities in the kingdom. The platform will enable courts to manage the liquidation of fixed and transferrable assets and offer them for sale electronically. Customers will be to participate in these auction directly which support access to equal opportunities.
Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority has announced it has launched a public consultation on a draft Cloud Policy. The consultation ends on 23 April 2020. The Cloud Policy has been developed as part of the Authority’s 2020-2024 Strategy and in line with the National Vision 2030 and Qatar National Second Development Strategy 2018-2022. The Policy will provide a regulatory framework for Cloud Computing in the country. It will apply to Government entities. Comments should be sent to email@example.com with Consultation on Cloud Policy Statement as the subject.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Juridical Council has announced court hearings in the Kingdom are postponed. The aim is to tackle the spread of Coronavirus in the Kingdom. The hearings are cancelled until further notice except for urgent case hearings.
The Omani Police have announced customs clearing requirements will be relaxed. The aim is to help the commercial sector. Given the current circumstances in the country and the world, customs clearing requirements will be relaxed. Under the new requirements, imported goods can be cleared even when the importer is unable to provide the relevant documents and certificates from the source country.
Bahrain’s Shoura Council has referred the amended Bankruptcy Law (Bahrain Law No. 22/2018) to the country’s Cabinet to consider further. Under the amendments, owed amounts could be collected from representatives in Bahrain rather than in the country where the entity is based. In addition, owed amounts could be claimed from inheritors or guardian if the bankrupt party retires or dies. The 2018 Law was rushed through in 15 days as the authorities wanted bankruptcy legislation on the statute book.