The following statement is an official response to the allegations this video and other news reports: Up until the global pandemic, Transguard Group had employed 8,180 Nepalese citizens. As clients paused or cancelled contracts due to COVID-19, Transguard was forced to transition more than 10,000 employees from all over the world out of the active work force.
Of this idle pool, 3,100 are from Nepal, and Transguard has been proactively working with the Nepalese embassy since March to repatriate the majority of these Nepali citizens. This group is comprised of those who are scheduled for mandatory annual leave, those who have resigned, those who were terminated due to misconduct and former employees who got caught in Dubai when the airports in Nepal closed down in March.
Since then, Transguard has successfully repatriated more than 5,000 citizens of India, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and other countries. This was the result of not only the opening of airports, but also Transguard’s proactive, collaborative work with each embassy to ensure the swift repatriation of these citizens.
Unfortunately, Nepal has proven to be the one country where the lockdown has been so complete that barely any flights have been scheduled to depart from the UAE. Nevertheless, Transguard has been in constant contact with the Nepalese embassy in Abu Dhabi, requesting their assistance to help us repatriate their citizens.
On 25th June, the Embassy finally published a list of 4,110 names of Nepali citizens who were approved to be repatriated, but only 30 Transguard employees made it on to this list. These 30 citizens successfully flew home on 1st July, but despite our continual follow up with the embassy we have heard nothing about the status of the more than 2,000 remaining Nepalese citizens.
In addition to providing free food and wifi to all idle staff, Transguard has also given these employees the opportunity to be cross trained in other areas so that they can be deployed on other contracts as they wait for their original work to begin again. However, not everyone has chosen to take advantage of this, which means they have elected to remain in our accommodations with no work and no pay.
Regarding flights, while Transguard pays for the tickets of employees going on annual leave or those who have been made idle, those who have resigned or were terminated must pay for their tickets home as per UAE law.
Transguard has been in direct and constant contact with the Nepalese embassy in order to facilitate the repatriation of its citizens. In addition, Transguard has posted signage in all accommodations that includes the email address and telephone number of the Nepalese embassy so that Nepalis can speak directly to their government. We are committed to the repatriation of all individuals impacted by COVID-19, including citizens of Nepal.