Like any other country, the UAE government also has strict labour laws and as a worker, it’s mandatory for you to adhere to them. And for this, you must understand them.
The labour law in UAE covers all job-related matters, including duty hours, leaves, safety standards etc. It is governed by Federal Law No. 8 of 1980. Before you take up any job in the UAE, make sure that you know about your necessary information and provisions, particularly the Article 121 of the UAE labour law..
With that said, let’s shed light on some important things that everyone working in the UAE must know about:
1. Working Hours
According to article 65 of UAE’s labour law, the regular working hours allowed in the private sector are 8 hours per day. i.e. 48 hours per week. However, during the month of Ramadan, these working hours are reduced by 2 hours, making it 6 hours/day.
The working hours in the government sector are 7 hours/day whereas for hotels, cafes and some other businesses it can increase to 9 hours/day.
2. Official Leaves & Vacations
Friday is officially off for all workers except for daily wagers in the entire Middle East region. However, if an employee works on an official leave day, they are entitled to receive a compensatory holiday along with an increased per day salary.
3. Compensation for Working on Official Holidays
If an employee works during holidays or leaves, then they are given another rest day. Moreover, they receive their daily wage with an increment of 50% at least. According to Article 81 of the labour law, in case an employee doesn’t get compensatory leave for working on a holiday, they are entitled to receive their daily wage with an increment of 150% for that day.
4. Public Holidays
Everyone working in the UAE has a day off on all the public holidays announced by the government. These holidays include but are not limited to:
- New Year’s Day – 1 day
- Islamic New Year – 1 day
- Eid ul Fitr – 2 days
- Arafat & Eid ul Adha – 4 days
- National Days – 2 days
- Commemoration Day – 1 day
If an employee works more than his 8 hours daily shift, they are paid overtime.
The pay for overtime is the wage for hours they have worked + 25% of their daily wage. However, if an employee works overtime between 9pm to 4am, they are entitled to receive 50% of their daily wage.
6. Annual Leaves
According to the UAE’s labour law, employees are entitled to get an annual leave of 2 days/month if they have been working for 6-months or less. Or 30-days/year if they have been working for a year or more.
7. Sick Leaves
An employee can avail sick leaves up to 90 days/year. During which they receive full pay for 15 days, half for the next 30 and no pay for the remaining.
8. Minimum Wage
There’s no minimum wage limitation as per the labour laws. However, the law states that the salary should address the employee’s basic needs. As per Article 63, the minimum wage is calculated by the cost of living index of that particular area and profession.
9. Termination of Employment
As per the labour law, no employer can unjustifiably terminate an employee. Article 117 of the labour law clearly defines the conditions under which the employer can terminate the contract. However, after the termination of the contract, regardless of the reasons, the employees are entitled to claim their full end of service gratuities and other entitlements as per the law.
Article 117 not only defines the ground of termination but also explicitly explains the rights of the employees after termination.
10. Applicable Taxes
There is as such no applicable income tax in the UAE till date this makes it an ideal place to work. As all that you earn directly goes into your bank without any tax deductions from the government. For example, if you have an ac maintenance company in Dubai and you earn any amount so it will directly go to your account and there will be no tax on that earning. However, as per the news, the chances are quite high that the government will introduce Value Added Taxes on some items soon.
It’s important to note that people have to pay a service tax of 10 to 15% at certain hotels and clubs.
Having adequate amount of information prior to landing in the UAE for employment purposes will help you a great deal in avoiding troubles. So, gather as much information as you can and make the entire process hassle-free for yourself.