Professionals living in the UAE have a great advantage over their counterparts in other nations in that they may opt for a part-time job alongside full-time work in order to supplement their income. With Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the economy, the two-job option could prove to be invaluable in helping professionals who have suffered salary cuts sustain their previous income levels. But employees wishing to avail of this option must fulfil certain criteria and obtain approval from the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) before taking any concrete step in this direction.
Salary Cuts & Employment Regulations
The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the global economy putting the jobs of billions of people at risk. Many others have been asked to take salary cuts, even as reports suggest new jobs are likely to come with a 15-20% reduction in salary offers.
In this situation, governments in the region are trying to regulate the issue of pay cuts to try and balance out the interests of businesses and employees. For example, the Saudi Arabia government has approved salary cuts of up to 40% for private sector companies while in the UAE, MoHRE has issued guidelines for companies affected by the coronavirus crisis that allows them to take certain steps vis-à-vis expatriate employees such as:
- Asking employees to work remotely (does not require employee consent)
- Asking employees to consume annual/paid leave balances (does not require employee consent)
- Asking employees to go on unpaid leave (with employee consent)
- Asking employees to take a temporary or permanent pay cut (with employee consent)
Amendments in work contract must be registered with MoHRE in the case of a permanent salary cut. But amendments in the contract due to temporary pay cuts need not be registered with the ministry subject to their availability for inspection by the government as and when required.
Working for Two Employers: Do You Qualify?
Dual employment offers an effective way out for workers who have suffered pay cuts in the UAE as a result of the pandemic. But MoHRE has listed certain conditions regarding the skills and qualifications of such employees.
First, the option is only available to workers possessing specialised skills in science, technology or administration. The candidate should hold a post-graduate degree or higher, or a two- or three- year diploma in a scientific or technical field, to qualify for the option. Approval is required from the ministry along with the submission of documents including a NOC from the sponsor, copy of the work contract, relevant academic certificates etc.
It generally takes two working days for the ministry to process the application. The rules do not require you to inform your primary employer about the decision unlike in the pre-2018 scenario. You can read about the process in more detail here.
Rewards & Benefits
Working for two employers at the same time could be financially and professionally rewarding for the employee as explained below.
This is the key motivation behind most professionals taking up dual employment at this point in time. With salary cuts being rampant, many employees may find themselves suddenly confronted with a situation where they may need to overhaul their household budgets. Dual employment can help mitigate the problem to some extent by bringing more income to soften the blow on living standards.
Did you know that around 70% of open positions are never listed publicly? Instead, they are filled through networking, employee referrals and internal recruitments. This explains why networking assumes a critical role in career development, especially during an economic crisis.
Taking up a part-time job can help you make important networking connections which could power your career into the future. Managing to impress the right people may act as a launchpad for your next assignment or later. There is always a demand for good professionals in any industry and knowing the right people could help you access attractive opportunities even before they are listed to expedite your career growth.
Possibility of Conversion into Full-Time Opportunity
If the company is happy with your work, there is always the possibility of them offering full-time work on better terms than your primary job. Candidates should display good work ethic and try and make themselves indispensable to the employer to increase their chances of getting hired on a full-time basis. Companies generally prefer opting for known candidates over new ones which could put you at an advantage vis-à-vis the competition.
Working two jobs will help you learn new skills which are highly valuable from a career standpoint. Skills upgradation improves your marketability and competitiveness in the job market allowing you to command higher salaries. Besides, it can introduce you to new facets of the industry to give a 360-degree view of the sector you are working in.
Positive Psychological Impact
Salary cuts can be hard on employees. Apart from material consequences, it extracts a huge price in terms of the mental and emotional well-being of the employee and their family. One of the biggest advantages of taking up dual employment at a financially challenging time like the present is the positive effect it has on mental health and family relationships. Of course, working two jobs is challenging in itself but it is certainly easier to deal with compared to the lack of adequate income and troubled family relationships.
Dealing with Work Pressure
Everyone understands the role a healthy lifestyle plays in combating stress but the practical difficulties in following it while working a busy schedule is a reality that must also be considered. If you do not have enough time to follow a full-fledged health routine, consider forming a core set of habits like a healthy diet, a healthy morning routine etc. to enhance your physical and mental wellbeing.
Having clarity on your requirements, staying organised, and avoiding conflicts are some of the other strategies that can help you deal with stress and create a positive environment around yourself. Resist the temptation to slip into unhealthy habits like eating junk food to avoid a negative impact on your health and work performance.
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