Work time in the UAE is set at 48 hours a week and employers who force their workers to exceed that limit without paying them are violating labour rules, a Labour Ministry official was quoted on Sunday as saying.
Mohammed Mubarak, Director of Labour Relations at the Ministry in Dubai, said employers can have their employees work nine hours on a day, but must deduct this extra hour from their work time on another day in the week.
Quoted by the Sharjah-based Arabic language daily 'Al Khaleej', he said workers are also entitled for an hour's break after five hours of work every day.
“The labour law in the UAE stipulates that the work time is eight hours a day for a maximum six days a week.
“This can be extended to nine hours but this extra hour must be deducted from work time on another day.
“For the whole week, the work time is a maximum 48 hours and those who work more must be paid for the extra hours.”
He said employers can have their employees work on their weekly day off in return for extra wages, but are not allowed to force them to work for two consecutive holidays.
“Employers must make sure their workers get all their rights otherwise they will be violating the labour rules.
“In this case, workers can report their employers to the labour relations office,” he said.
He added that employers can sack their workers in case they are absent from work for seven successive working daya.
Mubarak also explained that in case the employer increases work hours from eight, they are entitled to work additional 1.25 or 1.50 hours depending on the job requirement.
The law stipulates that workers should not put in more than two hours overtime a day.
The law specifies one paid rest day after a maximum 6 days of work, he said.
Also, as per law, employers are not allowed to make workers work for more than two weekends.
Mubarak said, in the event employer assigns work to workers on their day offs, workers are entitled to have their normal salary plus 50 per cent bonus as well as one-day off for the day worked.
In case employers breach rules, workers can approach labour office. The ministry will then investigate the case and ensure they are given their due, Mubarak said.
Workers who extend their annual leave will be considered as absent from work as per Article 120 of the Labour Law.
And if workers are absent for more than seven days, the employer has the right to end the service of the labourer without warning, unless workers prove they had unavoidable circumstances that prevented them from resuming work on the stipulated day after the annual leave.
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