Women in UAE may not work after 10 pm, except when...

Women in UAE may not work after 10 pm, except when...
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Dubai - Here are the norms for women working on night shift

By Ashish Mehta

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2018, 4:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Jan 2018, 8:09 AM

I work for a free zone company and have completed a year out of a 2-year unlimited contract. At this point, the employer is trying to force us to sign a paper on which we agree to work on night shifts. This request was not included in our contract or offer letter.
My question is, can the company change the terms of contract midway? And, does the labour law apply here where it is stated that women cannot work after 10pm?
You have not stated in which free zone you are located in. Certain free zones have their own regulations pertaining to employees and others follow the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 of UAE (the "Employment Law). It is assumed that you fall within the authority of the Employment Law.
Article 27 and Article 28 of the Employment Law deals with employment of women and night shifts, which reads as:
"Women may not be required to work at night. The term 'night' means a period of not less than 11 consecutive hours from 10pm to 7am."
However, Article 28 provides for an exception to the forgoing
"The following cases shall be excepted from the clause prohibiting women to work at night.
a)    In the event where the work in the establishment is stopped due to force majeure.
b)    Work in responsible managerial and technical jobs.
c)    Work in medical and other services as may be decided by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs if the working woman does not normally carry out a manual job."
On perusal of the forgoing, it can be stated that unless you fall within the aforementioned exception or in the event that you sign the amendment to your labour contract you may not work in the night shift. It is recommended that, if you are being forced/coerced into signing an amended terms employment contract you should contact the relevant authority at the free zone for the purposes of a resolution between you and the employer.
Visa renewal and criminal case
A criminal case has been filed against me, a case in which my boss is also involved. As of now my passport is in police custody in Dubai, and my residence visa is expiring next month. What should I do now? What are the options open to me?
It appears that you are released on bail by the public prosecution which has, in turn, retained your passport. Your passport will be in custody of the public prosecution at least until investigations are complete and you are found not guilty of a crime. In that case, the public prosecution will acquit you from the said complaint and will release your passport through the police station concerned. However, if your passport continues to be held, you could file an application with the public prosecution to arrange for presentation of your passport at the office of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, for renewal of your visa.

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: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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