No compensatory off, extra wages for working on Eid Al Fitr. What are my legal options?

 

No compensatory off, extra wages for working on Eid Al Fitr. What are my legal options?

Dubai - Firms must follow the declared holidays, the law says.

By Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 16 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 12:38 PM

Q: I work for a company in Jebel Ali, Dubai. We were given only two days off for Eid Al Fitr, though the government had declared four days off. The company doesn't pay any extra wages or give us the option of taking a compensatory off. What are my legal options?
 
A: Since you are working for an employer based in Jebel Ali, rules and regulations of the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) shall be applicable.
Clause 11.2.6 of Jafza Rules 2017 states: "Public holidays for employees of a customer (company) will be in line with the public holidays announced by the UAE government for employees of the private sector as and when declared."
In addition to this, on March 5 this year, the UAE Cabinet announced the official holidays for the public and private sectors for the years 2019 and 2020, and the government granted equal leaves (14 days) to both sectors, with four days off for Eid Al Fitr. The same Eid holiday was also declared by the government on June 2.
Based on the rules of Jafza and the UAE Cabinet's decision, you were entitled to a four-day holiday for the recently concluded Eid Al Fitr.
Further, Article 74(c) of the UAE's Employment Law states: "Each employee shall be entitled to official leave with full pay on the following occasions: (c) Feast of Lesser Bairam ; two days".
Your employer may have granted you only two days of holiday for Eid Al Fitr based on this provision of Employment Law. However, it may be noted that the subsequent and recent ministerial orders or UAE Cabinet decisions shall supersede the provisions of the Employment Law, as applicable.
Therefore, your employer's decision to grant you fewer Eid holidays is not in compliance with the Employment Law.
Further, if an employee has been required to work on a public holiday, the employer should compensate him for such days by a compensatory leave and/or bonus salary, based on the employee's basic remuneration. This is according to Article 81 of the Employment Law, which states: "Where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work on a 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."
Your employer should provide you with compensatory leave on other working days and pay you additional remuneration for the days you worked during the public holidays. You may bring to the attention of the human resource department of your employer the recent changes to the holidays related to Eid Al Fitr, and if they still do not provide you with additional remuneration and compensatory holidays, you may approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and file a complaint against your employer.

KNOW THE LAW

If an employee has been required to work on a public holiday, the employer should compensate him for such days by a compensatory leave and/or bonus salary, based on the employee's basic remuneration.
 
Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, Dubai. 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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