Working hours, overtime in UAE explained: 7 things you need to know

Key regulations around work time for private sector employees, as listed on the country's official government website, explained


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 21 Sep 2022, 6:30 AM

Last updated: Fri 23 Sep 2022, 7:00 PM

The UAE has time and again topped multiple indices when it comes to job opportunities. According to the recent InterNations Expat Insider 2022 survey, residents ranked the country first in the world for improved career prospects.

The reason for this vote of confidence is the country’s labour laws, which ensure employee well-being.

Among the laws that govern working in the private sector is one that determines the amount of time an employee spends at work. Most employees working beyond the stipulated office hours are entitled to overtime.

Here are the key regulations around work time for private sector employees in the UAE as listed on the official UAE Government website:

Basic laws

>> According to the UAE Labour Law, the normal working hours for the private sector is 8 hours per day, or 48 hours per week. This may be increased or decreased for certain economic sectors or certain categories of workers.

>> Home to office commutes are not included in the working hours, except for “certain categories of workers”.

>> If an employee works for more than one employer, he/she may not be required to work more than the hours agreed upon in the employment contract, unless the worker agrees to do so in writing.

>> If the worker requests to perform work remotely, and it is granted, the employer must stipulate specific working hours.

>> An employee is entitled to break(s) in between working hours (if required, in intervals) which may not be less than one hour in aggregate. Further, an employee may not work for more than five consecutive hours in a day without a break.


>> Employees can be asked to work overtime, provided the number of extra hours do not exceed two in a day.

>> If an employee is required to work beyond the normal hours, the pay for the extra time is hourly wage (basic) plus 25 per cent of that amount. This could increase to 50 per cent if overtime is done between 10pm and 4am. This rule does not apply to employees who work in shifts.


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