UAE Law: Working on days off, overtime and pay

UAE Law: Working on days off, overtime and pay

'Over the past few months, my boss has been asking me to log in to work over the weekend' this is something often heard from employees in the UAE, but what is the ruling on this? Who is eligible for overtime and is it legal to work on your day off? - All answered here.

Question: I am employed in a firm based in mainland Dubai. Over the past few months, my boss has been asking me to log in to work over the weekend. I am not required to go to office, but this is official work that I am doing from home. I spend a good three to four hours every weekend like this. What are my rights in such instances? Can I be forced to work on my day off? Also, am I eligible for overtime if I choose to work like this from home?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you have one day of weekly holiday as per the employment contract signed with your employer. Further, as you are employed by a mainland firm based in the emirate of Dubai, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law') and the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 Concerning the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022’) are applicable.

In the UAE, an employee is entitled for at least one day of weekly holiday. This is in accordance with Article 21 of the Employment Law, which states

"An employee shall be granted at least (1) one paid weekly rest day as specified by the Employment Contract or the internal work regulations. The weekly rest day stipulated herein may be increased by decision of the Cabinet."

In the event your employer requires you to work on your weekly holiday, then you are entitled for overtime pay based on the number of working hours. This is in accordance with Article 19 (4) of the Employment Law, which states,

"If the work circumstances require that the employee be employed on the rest day specified in the Employment Contract, or the internal work regulations, he shall be compensated with a substitute rest day, or be paid his basic wage for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least (50%) fifty percent of that wage.”

However, you may not be eligible for overtime pay if your designation is manager or supervisor. This is in accordance with Article 15 (4) (b) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states:

“The following Categories shall be excluded from the provisions on maximum working hours:

b. Persons holding supervisory positions if such positions give their holders powers of the Employer.

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, your employer may not force you to work on your weekly holiday. Further, you are entitled for overtime pay (only if your designation is not of manager or supervisor) and you are eligible for compensatory leave based on the number of hours you work on your weekly holiday.

In the event your employer force you to work on your weekly holiday, does not pay your overtime pay (if you are eligible) for working on weekly holiday and does not grant you compensatory leave for working during your weekly holiday based on the number of hours of work, then you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization.

However, if your employment contract states that the weekly holiday is one day per week and you are allotted with two days of weekly holidays as per the policy of your employer, then you may have to work on one of the days of your weekly holidays.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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