New UAE workweek: Are private sector firms required to give employees a 2.5-day weekend?

Starting from 2022, federal govt and private sector employees can work for a maximum of eight hours a day, with compensation for working overtime.



KT file
KT file
by

Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021, 1:19 PM

Working hours for federal government and private sectors have been unified under new general provisions announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization on Monday.

Starting from February 2, 2022, federal government and private sector employees can work for a maximum of eight hours a day, 48 hours a week, with compensation for working overtime. The law also regulates working times and the hours when work is prohibited.

In both sectors, employees are entitled at least one paid day off, which can be increased at the company’s discretion.

While the UAE announced a new 4.5-day workweek to be applied in the federal government, the UAE’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar stressed that the new labor law grants private companies the flexibility to choose the off days for employees.

In a media briefing, Al Awar noted that some private companies across the UAE have used the UAE’s new workweek to make their own adjustments that serve their business interests and increase their competitiveness in the labour market.

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“Since the announcement of the new workweek, we have seen several private companies setting their own off days for employees. Some have announced 3-day weekends, while others announced flexible work-from-home options.”

He added, “the new law aims to grant the private sector this flexibility, and the key goal behind the unifying provisions is to fill the gap between the federal government and private sectors.”

Under the law, private sector employees are entitled at least one day off, subject to increase as per the company’s discretion.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com


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