Shorter working hours in the UAE over Ramadan
During the Holy month of Ramadan those not fasting are entitled to shorter hours too… well, unless you work in DIFC.
With Ramadan expected to start around Monday June 6, all UAE workers will be entitled to work two hours less a day, while in DIFC, which is governed by another law, only those fasting will get shorter hours.
Working hours in the UAE are still officially 48 hours a week, or 8 hours a day, six days a week (but most companies have their employees working five days a week, 9 hours a day).
The general UAE labour law states that all workers’ hours are reduced during Ramadan to six hours a day, however the DIFC labour law stipulates that the shorter working day is just for those fasting.
According to a legal expert speaking to Emirates 24/7, employers cannot reduce compensation due to shorter working hours, and if an employee is made to work more than six hours a day during this period they should be compensated. It will be considered overtime.
The Ministry of Labour is likely to release a directive on Ramadan working hours soon.
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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