UAE Ramadan: What the law says about reduced work hours
Penalties shall be meted out for employers that do not abide by the government’s regulation related to reduced working hours.
The UAE’s ministry and federal government entities will operate from 9am to 2pm during the holy month of Ramadan, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources announced on Thursday.
While there is no word yet from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) on the working hours for private companies, prevailing laws suggest shorter days for the sector, too. “The reduced working hours for employees during the month of Ramadan is applicable to all the companies based in the UAE. And the reduced working hours are applicable to all employees, irrespective of their religion,” said Ashish Mehta, founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta and Associates.
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The UAE labour law mandates a 48-hour work week per employee. “Normal working hours are reduced by two hours daily during the holy month of Ramadan,” according to the UAE Government’s official website.
Muslim employees, in particular, have the right to complain against employers who violate this law.
“If an employer does not grant its employees the benefit of reduced working hours — as mentioned by the government or as mentioned in Article 65 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the Employment Law) — the employees may contact or approach Mohre and file a complaint against the employer. In the event the employer is operating in any of the designated free zones based in the UAE, then the employee may file a complaint with the relevant free zone authority,” added Mehta.
Penalties shall be meted out for employers that do not abide by the government’s regulation related to reduced working hours. “Fines may vary for each company, based on various scenarios and discretion of Mohre or the free zone authority or any local authorities. However, Table 8 on Administrative Fines mentioned in Article 1 of the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 27 of 2010 on the Fees and Penalties for Service Provided by the Ministry states that Mohre may impose Dh5,000 to Dh20,000 in fines on the employers who breach any of the provisions of Employment Law or any of the decisions implemented by Mohre.”
Last week, authorities in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah announced that school hours should not exceed five hours during the holy month.
As per astronomical calculations, Ramadan is set to begin on Tuesday, April 13. It is expected to last 30 days, with Eid Al Fitr likely to fall on Thursday, May 13.
The faithful will fast for over 14 hours, which will increase to close to 15 by the end of the month.
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