Dubai: A legislation that broadly facilitate 'work-from-home' concept for women are already in place, a senior official at the Dubai Executive Council has said.

Nasser Al Hamli, Manager of Human Resource Projects at Dubai Executive Council, said the current human resource law for Dubai Government allows 'work-from-home' system for women employees.

"The existing legislations enable government departments, if they wish, to allow 'work-from-home' systems as there are no articles in the law that states otherwise," said Al Hamli.

Al Hamli was speaking at an open panel organised by the national identity programme (Watani), Emirates Nationals Development Programme and Dubai Women Establishment discussing the process of creating online job opportunities in the private and public sectors.

"The legislation outlines the government's broad strategy but the implementation has to be decided through a list of rules and regulations which might be developed to make the legislation clear on how to implement the 'work-from-home initiative," said Al Hamli.

An initiative to create online job opportunities for UAE national women was launched by Watani last Wednesday. However, Amnah K. Al Nakhi, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Du, said the existing legislation is not enough and more powerful legislations for both the public and the private sectors are needed to support the initiative.

"Today the 'work-from-home' concept is only possible if the management is open to the idea. It is something that is between the manager and the female employee, but what we need is a comprehensive legislation to be followed by all companies across the country," said Amnah.

Shabir Hussain, Middle East Learning Manager, Shell EP International Ltd, said that flexibility in working hours is beneficial not only for employees but also for employer.

Committee to prepare comprehensive proposal

The seminar has decided to set up an action committee to formulate legal framework for "the work-from-home" initiative.

The committee whose members are still not decided are to take part in closed-door seminar by the end of the month.

The seminar is to prepare a plan that identifies the parties involved and their rights as well as a proposal on the mechanisms and tools of implementing the initiative.

The committee will later submit its recommendations to the Dubai Executive Council for endorsement and referral to the Cabinet.