New UAE weekend: Work-from-home, flexible hours announced for Fridays

New work system will see govt employees and some private sector staff work for half-day on Fridays.



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 9:03 PM

Federal government employees who live far from their workplaces or have exceptional circumstances will be given priority to work from home on Fridays. This came as the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources released new remote work regulations as the UAE transitioned into a shorter workweek.

The new work system will see government employees and some private sector staff work for half-day on Fridays. Friday half-day, Saturday and Sunday is the new weekend in the country.

For Fridays, federal government entities can adopt flexible working hours and work-from-home options. However, they must ensure that at least 70 per cent of employees are on site to serve the public and ensure smooth flow of transactions.

The entity also has to determine the type of jobs that fit the work-from-home scheme.

Employees will need to get their direct manager’s prior approval to work from home on Fridays. The approval needs to be processed in coordination with the department head and the HR department.

The new workweek system, which started from the start of 2022, aims to help employees strike a better work-life balance and increase productivity.

While the government sector has adopted the 4.5-day workweek, most of the private companies across the country shifted to a Saturday-Sunday weekend, without adopting the half-Friday off.

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For federal government workers, Monday to Thursday workdays start at 7.30am and end at 3.30pm. Friday working hours are from 7.30am to 12pm.

Friday prayers and sermons will be hosted after 1.15pm, so that employees can be part of the congregational act of worship. Private companies are offering midday breaks to staff so that they can take part in the prayer.


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