Shorter working hours in the UAE over Ramadan

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Even if you’re not fasting, you’re still entitled to an early finish…

The UAE’s Federal Authority For Government Human Resources has announced reduced working hours for both the public and private sectors during Ramadan.

Civil servants will work from 9am to 2pm throughout the Holy Month, while private sector employees will have their working day reduced by two hours. So if your regular working day is 9am to 6pm, you’ll be allowed to go home at 4pm.

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This applies to all workers, Muslim and non-Muslim. There is one exception, however – DIFC is governed by a different law, which stipulates that the shorter working day is only for those who are fasting.

During this time, employers cannot reduce compensation due to the shorter working hours, and if an employee is made to work more than six hours a day, it should be considered overtime.

Here’s what the labour law has to say about working hours in the UAE:

“The maximum normal working hours for adult employees shall be eight hours per day or forty eight hours per week. However, working hours for the employees of commercial establishments, hotels, restaurants, watchmen and similar operations may be increased to nine hours per day as determined by the Minister of Labour. Likewise, working hours per day in respect of hazardous work or work detrimental to health, may be decreased by decision of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. During the month of Ramadan, normal working hours shall be reduced by two hours.”

Here’s what the DIFC labour law has to say about working hours during Ramadan:

“During the Holy month of Ramadan, an employee who observes the fast shall not be required to work in excess of six hours a day. There shall be no reduction in compensation as a result.”

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