UAE: Can employees claim overtime, comp-off if asked to work during Eid holidays?

In the Emirates, an employee is entitled to public holidays as mentioned in the Employment Law and on dates as declared by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 9:02 AM

Question: We are employed by a mainland Dubai company and worked over the Eid holiday. In fact, we worked longer than our regular hours. What are my rights here regarding overtime, compensatory off and extra pay?

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Answer: Pursuant to your queries, the provisions of the Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.

In the UAE, an employee is entitled to public holidays as mentioned in the Employment Law and on dates as declared by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation ( MoHRE). This is in accordance with Article 28(1) of the Employment Law, which states, ‘The employee shall be entitled to official leave with full pay in public holidays determined by decision of the Cabinet.’


In the event that an employer engages an employee to work during public holidays, such employee needs to be granted compensatory holiday(s) for working on a public holiday(s) or be paid an additional salary for working on a public holiday(s) along with an additional supplement of 50 per cent of basic salary. This is in accordance with Article 28(2) of the Employment Law, which states, “Should the work circumstances require that the employee be employed on holidays, the employee shall be compensated with a substitute rest day for each day worked, or be paid his salary for normal working days plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of his basic salary for that day.”

Moreover, an employee is entitled to overtime pay if he works for additional hours other than the regular working hours with his or her employer. This is in accordance with Article 19(1), (2) and (3) of the Employment Law, which states,

“1. The employer may employ the employee for additional working hours, provided that they do not exceed two hours a day and the employee may not work more than such hours unless according to the procedures and conditions specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree Law. In any event, the total working hours shall not exceed 144 hours in 3 weeks.

2. if the work circumstances require the employee to be employed for hours exceeding the ordinary working hours, such extended time shall be deemed overtime for which the employee shall be paid his basic salary for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of that salary.

3. If the work circumstances require the employee to be employed for extra hours between 10 pm and 4 am, the employee shall be paid his basic salary for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of that salary. This paragraph shall not apply to employees by shifts.”

However, employees who are managers or in supervisory positions or engaged in technical work in continuous shifts may not be entitled to overtime pay. This is in accordance with Article 15 (4) (b) and (d) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of Article 17 of the Decree Law.

4. The following categories shall be exempted from the provisions related to the maximum working hours:

b. the persons occupying supervisory positions if such positions vest in them the powers of the employer.

d. Those engaged in work which is required by reasons of a technical nature to be carried on continuously by a succession shift, subject to the condition that the average working hours do not exceed (56) hours per week.

Therefore, based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you and your colleagues are entitled to compensatory leave or additional salary along with supplementary pay for working on public holiday(s). Furthermore, you and your colleagues may also be entitled to overtime pay if working for additional work for your employer. However, to avail of such benefit you and your colleagues should not be managers, supervisors or not engaged in technical work which needs to be carried out in continuous shifts with your employer.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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