“If an employee works 40 hours a week as per the contract, he can now perform the 40 hours in three days”…

A big change is coming in post-pandemic private sector working environments. New UAE labour laws are introducing flexible working hours for the private sector, which will come into force on February 2, 2022.

According to The National, actions of the Federal Decree-Law No 33 of 2021, which was announced on Monday, November 15, 2021, will give people in the private sector ‘the chance to opt for temporary and flexible work, freelance jobs, condensed working hours and shared jobs’.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation said: “In the condensed-hours model, if an employee works 40 hours a week as per the contract, he can now perform the 40 hours in three days”. This can be put into effect if the employer and the employee agree to all clauses in the contract.

The new law provides more employee protection to those who work in different working categories, such as part-time and temporary work. Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar said that the new laws are a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, as well as the advancement of technology and the way the workplace is changing. It is part of the UAE Government’s commitment to more flexible working environments as the UAE looks towards the next 50 years.

The law applies to one type of contract which does not exceed three years, although the contract can be renewed and the time period discussed, as agreed by both parties. The Federal Decree Law no. 33 of 2021 also outlines the strict prohibition of sexual harassment, bullying, or any verbal, physical or psychological violence against workers by their superiors or colleagues.

Under the decree law, workers will be exempt from judicial fees up to the value of Dh100,000, in all stages of litigation and execution, and requests submitted by workers or their heirs.

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