Are you entitled for overtime pay at your office in UAE?
Any stipulations contrary to the provisions of this law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void.
Q-I am an employee of a marine repair services company based in Dubai since 2017. I have signed a fixed salary contract with my employer, which includes house allowance, transport allowance and basic salary. There is no clause related to overtime, weekend holidays or work during holidays in the said employment contract. As a marine engineer, I am supposed to work whenever there are service calls. I have now requested my employer to pay me for overtime and extra time spent during weekends/holidays as I was not paid anything for overtime along with my salary. My employer has charged the overtime to the client for the work completed from my end, but I have been told that since my salary is fixed contract, I am not eligible for any compensation for overtime employment. What does the labour law say about fixed salary contract?
A-We assume that you are employed in the mainland of UAE and thereby, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') are applicable. The terms and conditions in your employment contract cannot be contrary to the provisions of the Employment Law. This is in accordance with Article 7 of the Employment Law, which states:
"Any stipulations contrary to the provisions of this law, even if it was made prior to its commencement, shall be null and void unless they are more advantageous to the employee." An employee is entitled to overtime pay, pay for working during weekend holidays and other public holidays as per the Employment Law, if he is eligible for the same.
However, an employee is not entitled to overtime pay or pay for working during weekend holiday or other holidays, if he is a manager or supervisor or else if employed as crew of seagoing ships and persons employed at sea. This is in accordance with Article 72 of the Employment Law, which states: "The provisions of this chapter (hours of work and leave) shall not apply to the following classes of persons:
1-Those holdings responsible managerial or supervisory positions, if such positions confer upon the holders the powers of an employer over employees. The categories in questions shall be specified by order of the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.
2- Employees constituting the crews of seagoing ships and persons employed at sea and enjoying special conditions of service on account of the nature of their work, except dock employees engaged in loading and unloading and related operations."
Based on the aforementioned provision of law, if you are not a manager or supervisor or crew in seagoing ships or employed at sea, you are entitled to overtime pay. This is in accordance with Article 67 of Employment Law, which states: "Where the circumstances of work require an employee to work for more than the normal number of hours, any period worked in excess shall be treated as overtime, for which the employee shall receive remuneration equal to that corresponding to his normal hours of work, plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of the pay." Further, Article 68 states that: "Where the circumstances of the work require an employee to work overtime between 9pm and 4am, he shall be entitled in respect of such overtime to the remuneration stipulated for his normal hours of work, plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of the remuneration."
Every employee in the UAE is entitled to a weekly rest day and if he/she is required to work during weekly rest day, he must be compensated with another day as rest day or extra salary if such holidays are not granted by the employer.
This is in accordance with Article 70 of the Employment Law, which states:
"Friday shall be the normal weekly rest day for all employees except the daily paid ones. Where the circumstances require an employee to work on this day, he shall be granted another day or receive his basic remuneration for his normal hours of work, plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of the remuneration." Further, Article 71 of the Employment Law states: "No employee other than the daily paid one shall be employed on more than two successive Fridays."
On the other hand, an employee in the UAE is entitled to public holidays. If he works on the public holiday, he should be granted compensatory leave for such holidays together with a bonus equal to 50 per cent of his remuneration. This is in accordance with Article 81 of the Employment Law, which states: "Where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work on public holiday or rest day in respect of which he is entitled to full or partial pay, he shall be granted compensatory leave in respect of such days, together with a bonus equal to 50 per cent of his remuneration. If he is not compensated for such days by leave, his employer shall pay him a bonus equal to 150 per cent of his basic remuneration in respect of the days worked."
Know the law
Every employee in the UAE is entitled to a weekly rest day and if the employee is required to work during weekly rest day, he must be compensated with another day as rest day or extra salary if such holidays are not granted by the employer
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.