GCC Laws
Working Hours and Leaves

Working Hours and Leaves

Article 65 - Maximum Working Hours for Adult Workers

Q. What are the maximum working hours for adult workers?

The UAE Labor Law stipulates that adult workers must not exceed eight hours per day or 48 hours per week for normal working hours. In specific cases, like commercial establishments, hotels, cafeterias, and security services, the daily working hours can be extended to nine hours. The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs can also reduce daily working hours for arduous or health-hazardous work. During the month of Ramadan, the normal working hours are reduced. Time spent traveling between home and work is not counted as working hours.

Article 66 - Regulation of Daily Working Hours for Breaks

Q. How are daily working hours regulated for breaks?

Daily working hours must be structured so that no worker works for more than five consecutive hours without breaks for rest, meals, and prayer. These breaks, which should amount to a total of at least one hour, are not counted as part of the working hours. Factories, workshops with successive shifts, and uninterrupted processes may follow specific guidelines for granting breaks as defined by the Minister.

Article 67 - Overtime Definition

Q. What is considered as overtime?

When work circumstances necessitate working more than the regular hours, any period exceeding the normal hours is considered overtime. Workers receive the wage specified for normal working hours plus a supplement of at least 25% of that wage for overtime.

Article 68 - Overtime Rate for Night Work

Q. What is the overtime rate for night work?

If work circumstances require workers to work overtime between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., they are entitled to the wage stipulated for normal working hours plus a supplement of at least 50% of that wage.

Article 69 - Limit on Overtime Hours

Q. Is there a limit to the number of hours of overtime?

The law generally limits actual overtime hours to two per day. However, this limit can be exceeded in cases of substantial loss, serious accidents, or mitigating the impact of such incidents.

Article 70 - Weekly Rest Day

Q. What is the weekly rest day for workers?

Friday is the normal weekly rest day for all workers except daily-paid workers. If a worker is required to work on Friday, they must receive either a substitute rest day or their basic wage for normal hours plus a supplement of at least 50% of that wage.

Article 71 - Successive Fridays for Work

Q. How many successive Fridays can a worker work?

Except for daily-paid workers, no worker should be obliged to work more than two successive Fridays.

Article 72 - Exemptions from Provisions

Q. Who is exempted from these provisions?

Senior executive managerial or supervisory positions and certain marine vessel crew members are exempted from the provisions mentioned in this section.

Article 73 - Posting Work Schedules

Q. What are the requirements for posting work schedules?

Employers are required to display a work schedule showing weekly day off, hours of work, and rest periods at main entrances and in conspicuous positions at the workplace. This schedule should also be filed with the competent labor department. If the workplace doesn't follow the statutory weekly day off, a schedule should display the weekly rest day for each worker class.

Article 74 - Leave Entitlement on Specific Occasions

Q. When are workers entitled to leave with full pay?

Workers are entitled to leave with full pay on specific occasions including New Year's Day, Bairam holidays, Prophet Mohammed's birthday, Al Isra and Al Mi’raj, and National Day.

Article 75 - Determining Annual Leave Entitlement

Q. How is annual leave entitlement determined?

For each year of service: Workers with a service period of over six months but less than one year are entitled to two days per month. Workers with a service period of over one year are entitled to 30 days per year.

Article 76 - Employer's Decision on Annual Leave Timing

Q. Can the employer decide the timing of annual leave?

Employers can decide when annual leave starts and, if necessary, divide it into two periods. This provision doesn't apply to child workers' leave.

Article 77 - Inclusion of Holidays and Sick Leave in Annual Leave

Q. Are holidays and sick leaves included in annual leave?

Holidays prescribed by law, agreement, or sickness days falling within annual leave are considered part of the annual leave.

Article 78 - Compensation During Annual Leave

Q. What compensation is due during annual leave?

During annual leave, workers receive their basic wage and housing allowance (if applicable). If a worker is required to work during leave, they receive their normal wage plus an allowance in lieu of leave for days worked, calculated on their basic wage.

Article 79 - Payment for Accrued Annual Leave

Q. What happens when a worker's employment ends?

When a worker's service ends, they receive payment for any accrued annual leave days based on their wage when the leave became due.

Article 80 - Payment Before Annual Leave

Q. Are workers paid before taking annual leave?

Employers must pay workers their full wage plus prescribed leave pay before they go on annual leave.

Article 81 - Working During Holidays or Days Off

Q. What happens if a worker works during holidays or days off?

If a worker works on holidays or days off when they are entitled to full or partial pay, they are granted substitute leave and 50% of their wage. If no substitute leave is given, the employer must pay 150% of the basic wage for days worked.

Article 82 - Illness Reporting and Verification

Q. What's the procedure for illness reporting and verification?

If a worker contracts a non-work-related illness, they must report it within two days. The employer then arranges for medical examination to verify the illness.

Article 83 - Sick Leave Entitlement

Q. What's the sick leave entitlement?

After three months of continuous service following the probationary period, a worker is entitled to sick leave not exceeding 90 days per year. This is divided into: First 15 days: full pay. Next 30 days: half pay. Subsequent periods: no pay.

Article 84 - Wage During Sick Leave for Misconduct-related Illnesses

Q. Are wages paid during sick leave for misconduct-related illnesses?

No wage is paid for sick leave if the illness results directly from the worker's misconduct, such as alcohol or narcotic drug consumption.

Article 85 - Worker Not Returning After Sick Leave

Q. What happens if a worker doesn't return after sick leave?

If a worker doesn't resume work after sick leave, they forfeit their wage for the absence period, starting from the day after leave expiry.

Article 86 - Resignation Due to Illness During Sick Leave

Q. What if a worker resigns due to illness during sick leave?

If a worker resigns due to illness within the first 45 days of sick leave and it's medically accepted, the employer pays the wage for the remaining days of the first 45-day period.

Article 87 - Special Leave for Pilgrimage

Q. Is special leave granted for pilgrimage?

Workers are entitled to one special unpaid leave during their entire service for pilgrimage. This leave doesn't deduct from other leave entitlements and shouldn't exceed 30 days.

Article 88 - Working for Another Employer During Leave

Q. Can workers work for another employer during leave?

Except for daily-paid workers, working for another employer during annual or sick leave is prohibited. Violation can lead to service termination and denial of leave pay.

Article 89 - Worker Not Returning After Leave

Q. What happens if a worker doesn't return after leave?

If a worker doesn't return to work immediately after leave expires, their wage for the absence period is automatically forfeited, starting from the day after leave expiry.

Article 90 - Dismissal During Leave

Q. Can a worker be dismissed while on leave?

Unless specific provisions allow otherwise, an employer can't dismiss a worker or serve a notice of dismissal during a leave provided under this section.

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