UAE issues a decision regarding receiving an increase in wages during Ramadan

For a company that is located on the mainland, is it possible for me to earn overtime pay by working longer than the typical Ramadan working hours? What is the mechanism behind that?

In response to your inquiry, the provisions of 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. Both of these pieces of legislation were passed in 2021.

Reducing working hours

A worker in the United Arab Emirates is eligible for a two-hour reduction in their regular working hours during the month of Ramadan. Article 17(4) of the Employment Law, when read in conjunction with Article 15(2) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, provides that "The regular working hours shall be reduced by two hours during the holy month of Ramadan." This is in conformity with the aforementioned provisions.

Working extra hours

In addition, if an employee is required to work overtime by their employer, the employee may be eligible for overtime pay. This is the case if the employer calls upon the employee to work overtime. Specifically, this is in accordance with Article 19 of the Employment Law, which states that "1. The Employer may employ the employee for additional working hours, provided that they do not exceed (2) 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." This is a provision that allows the employer to hire the employee for additional working hours. In any case, the total number of hours worked in a period of three weeks ought not to exceed 144 hours, which is equal to one hundred forty-four hours.

2. If the circumstances of the employee's employment require that the employee be employed for hours that are longer than the typical working hours, then the extended time will be considered overtime, and the employee will be paid his basic salary for his normal hours of work in addition to a supplement of at least twenty-five percent of that salary.


3. The employee is entitled to receive his basic compensation for his normal hours of work in addition to a supplement equal to at least fifty percent of that salary if the conditions of the workplace require that the employee be employed for additional hours between the hours of ten o'clock at night when the clock strikes four in the morning. Employees who work in shifts are exempt from the provisions of this paragraph.

4. In the event that the employee is required to work on the rest day that is specified in the employment contract or the internal work regulations, he is entitled to receive compensation in the form of a substitute rest day, or he is to be paid his basic salary for his normal hours of work in addition to a supplement that is equal to at least fifty percent of the salary.

Working more than two days in a row

The employee is not permitted to work for more than two consecutive days without taking a break, with the exception of those who work on a daily basis.

Furthermore, if an employee is in a managerial or supervisory role, it is possible that they are not eligible for any overtime pay. It is in compliance with the provisions of Article 15(4) (b) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which specifies that "the following categories shall be exempted from the provisions relating to the maximum working hours."

b. The individuals who are in supervisory roles, in the event that those positions provide them the authority to make decisions for the employer.

According to the aforementioned requirements of the law, an employee may be eligible for overtime pay if they work for additional hours that are in addition to the working hours that are required during the Ramadan season. It is up to the discretion of the employer to decide whether or not to provide overtime work.

Read also: The UAE issues clarification regarding residents traveling abroad

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