A reader asks if reduced hours during the holy month apply to people in supervisory roles.
Question: I am in a managerial role in a company in mainland Dubai. Do the reduced Ramadan work hours apply to me? If I am asked to work beyond the six hours, am I eligible for some kind of compensation?
Answer: Since you’re employed by a mainland company in Dubai, the provisions of Federal Decree-Law No 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.
In the UAE, the regular working hours per day is eight in accordance with Article 17(1) of the Employment Law, which states,
"The maximum ordinary working hours shall be 8 working hours a day or 48 working hours a week."
Moreover, in the UAE, the normal overtime work is 2 hours per day under Article 19 of the Employment Law read with Article 15(3) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states,
“Subject to the provisions of Article 17 of the Decree-Law: The employer may instruct the employee to work overtime over the normal working hours, provided that the overtime does not exceed two hours per day unless the work is necessary to prevent the occurrence of a serious loss or a serious accident or to eliminate or mitigate the effects thereof. In any case, the total working hours shall not exceed 144 hours every three weeks."
An employee who is employed by his employer beyond regular working hours shall be entitled to overtime pay which is basic salary (calculated on additional hours of work) along with an additional 25 per cent of basic salary. This is in accordance with Article 19(2) of the Employment Law.
However, the regular working hours are reduced by two hours during the month of Ramadan. This is under Article 15(2) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states,
"Subject to the provisions of Article 17 of the Employment Law the regular working hours shall be reduced by two hours during the holy month of Ramadan."
However, the provisions of reduced working hours or overtime pay may not be applicable for employees who are in a managerial positions. This has been subsequently mentioned in Article 15 (4) (b) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states,
“The following categories shall be exempted from the provisions related to the maximum working hours: The persons occupying supervisory positions if such positions vest in them the powers of the employer.”
Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, an employee in a managerial position with your employer may not be entitled to any overtime pay if you are working beyond the regular hours of work stipulated for the month of Ramadan. However, if your employer is demanding you to work for additional hours after regular hours of work without a valid reason, by force or with an ulterior intention, then you may not be required to work on such conditions by your employer.
This is in accordance with Article 14(1) of the Employment Law, which states,
“An employer may not use any means susceptible of obliging or forcing the employee or threatening him with any penalty, to work for him, or forcing him to do a work or deliver a service against his will.”
In this case, you may contact the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) and file a complaint against your employer.
For further clarification on this matter, you may seek additional advice from the Ministry.
News Source: Khaleej Times