Following are key provisions concerning working hours in the private sector:
- Article 17 of the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations in the Private Sector, the ‘UAE Labour Law’ identifies the normal working hours for the private sector as 8 hours per day, or 48 hours per week.
- The daily working hours may increase or decrease for certain economic sectors or certain categories of workers, as specified by the ‘Executive Regulations of the Labour Law’.
- The time spent by the worker in commuting from his place of residence to his workplace is not included in the working hours, except for certain categories of workers as specified by the ‘Executive Regulations of the Labour Law’.
- If the worker works for more than one employer, the original employer and other employers may not require the worker to work more than the hours agreed upon in the employment contract, unless the worker agrees to do so in writing.
- If the worker requests to perform his work remotely, either from within the UAE or from abroad, the employer must stipulate specific working hours.
- The worker has the right to have one or more breaks, if he works five consecutive hours. These breaks must not be less than one hour. Breaks are not calculated within the working hours.
- The employer may ask the worker to work overtime, provided the number of extra hours does not exceed two hours in one day.
- If the nature of the work requires the worker to work beyond the normal working hours, then he will be entitled to a pay equal to normal working hours' remuneration (which is based on basic salary) plus 25 per cent of that pay. It could increase to 50 per cent if overtime is done between 10 pm and 4 am. This rule does not apply on workers who work on basis of shifts.
- If the circumstances require the worker to work on his off-day, as specified in the labour contract, or work regulations, then the worker will be entitled to a substitute rest day, or to a pay equal to normal working hours' remuneration (which is based on basic salary) plus 50 per cent of that pay.
Government entities are not governed by the Federal Decree Law. Find out working hours in the public sector.