You Are Required to be Paid Overtime, 8-hour shifts and Annual Leave in UAE

Change in the overtime policy, shifting hours and Annual Leave are now implemented by the UAE Labour Office.

In UAE, there is a 4-hour work week with one day of rest for every 6 days worked. Employers who are caught forcing their employees to work more than the stipulated hours would be violating the country’s labour rules according to an official of the Labour Ministry.

Dubai’s Director of the Ministry of Labour Relations Mohammed Mubarak issued a statement that employers may request employees to work for nine hours every day. But, they should deduct an extra hour from their working hours on another week’s working day.

‘Al Khaleej’, the Arabic daily based on Sharjah, quoted the director saying that workers are permitted to have a one hour break after working for five hours each day.

“The labour law in the UAE stipulates that the work time is eight hours a day for a maximum six days a week.

“This can be extended to nine hours but this extra hour must be deducted from work time on another day.

“For the whole week, the work time is a maximum 48 hours and those who work more must be paid for the extra hours.”

Furthermore, he said that employers could request employees to work during their day off if they are paid extra but the workers could not be allowed to work on two consecutive holidays by stating that:

“Employers must make sure their workers get all their rights otherwise they will be violating the labour rules. In this case, workers can report their employers to the labour relations office”.

He also added that employers can lay off workers who have been absent for seven consecutive working days. Mubarak made an explanation that when an employer increase work shifts from 8 hours, an additional 1.25 or 1.50 hours may be required by this job.

Moreover, the law makes a stipulation that an overtime of over two hours will not be allowed. He added that this law specifies that employees should have one rest day after putting in six days of work.

Based on the same law, employers could not force employees to work on two consecutive weekends.

On the same note, Mubarak said that if the employer assigns a worker to be on duty during a day off, workers need to receive a 50 percent bonus plus their original salary and at the same time, get one day off for each day worked.

Should an employer breach the rule, the worker can go to the Labour office. The case will be investigated by the Ministry and they will make sure that workers get their due.

Based on the Labour Law’s Article 120, workers who decide to extend their annual leave would be deemed absent.

Should workers be absent for seven consecutive days, employers would be given the right to end the worker’s service without need for a warning unless the employee can show proof that they were unable to report for work after the stipulated day after their annual leave due to unavoidable circumstances.


h/t: Emirates 24/7