UAE: How some employees can get a 3-day weekend from July 1

Authority denies change in office hours for federal employees; says ‘compressed week’ one among 5 new work types

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Ruqayya Al Qaydi

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2023, 9:29 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jul 2023, 10:52 AM

The UAE has introduced new work patterns for federal government employees that are set to take effect on July 1, 2023. The aim is to enhance efficiency and flexibility within the federal sector. The new work types are subject to approval from the employing entity.

One notable provision is the introduction of intensive working hours, also known as a ‘compressed workweek’. This pattern allows employees to cover the full official weekly working hours in fewer days. They can work a maximum of 10 hours each in four days a week.

However, the Federal Authority For Government Human Resources (FAHR) has denied reports about work hours being changed for the employees.

Compressed workweek represents one among many work types, the authority said. Its implementation is subject to specific and clear controls. The system is allowed to be applied in exceptional cases with the entity’s approval.

The new regulations also grant employees the opportunity to request a change in their employment type, from part-time to full-time or vice-versa.

The regulations establish guidelines for part-time work, specifying that employees must work a minimum of eight hours and a maximum of 32 per week. They are also required to work at least one day and no more than four days per week.

Five distinct types of work patterns have been identified for employees of federal ministries, institutions, and entities. All of these are subject to approval from the head of the entity.

1. On-site work: Employees carry out their duties either at their designated workplace or at one of the organisation's branches during official working hours.

2. Remote work within the country: Employees have the option to perform their duties outside the workplace but within the UAE. This provision is governed by the remote work system established by the Cabinet.

3. Remote work from outside the country: Employees may fulfil their job responsibilities from abroad.

4. Intensive working hours (compressed workweek): Employees opting for this work pattern cover the full official weekly working hours in fewer working days.

5. Hybrid work: This work arrangement involves a combination of on-site and remote work. It offers the flexibility of mixing different work patterns to suit specific job requirements.

In addition to defining work patterns, the regulations address employment types, including:

1. Full-time: Working for a federal entity for the full daily working hours.

2. Part-time: Working for a specified number of working hours or days.

3. Temporary: Working for the full daily working hours, but within a temporary contract for a specific project or task.

4. Flexible: Working for a federal entity with the possibility of changing working hours or workdays based on workload, economic variables, and operational factors at the organisation.


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