Overtime In The UAE: How It Works

Author:Ms Rebecca Ford
Profession:Clyde & Co

The nature of many jobs often requires an employee to work over time. Whether or not an employee will be entitled to overtime (as well as the applicable rate) under Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (as amended) (UAE Labour Law) is often an intricate issue, and depends on the role of the employee, the time the overtime is completed and the working time system the company has in place.

Normal working hours

Under the UAE Labour Law, an employee's normal working day should not exceed 8 hours. An employer is also able to request an employee to perform up to 2 hours of additional work which will be treated as overtime. In return for working the additional 2 hours, the employee is entitled to overtime pay equivalent to the wage paid during ordinary working hours plus an additional amount of not less than 25% of the total remuneration (i.e. basic salary plus allowances) for the overtime period. However, if the overtime falls between the hours of 9pm and 4am, he will be entitled to overtime pay equivalent to the remuneration payable during normal working hours plus an increase of not less than 50% of his total remuneration for the overtime period worked.

Work on a Friday or Public Holiday

If circumstances require the employee to work on a Friday, he must be granted either another day off (in lieu) or receive his basic salary plus an additional 50% of his remuneration (i.e. basic salary plus allowances). However, employees cannot be asked to work more than two consecutive Fridays unless they are employed on a daily wage basis.

Where an employee works on UAE public holidays declared for the private sector, the employer can elect one of the following payment structures:

Option A: 100% of normal daily remuneration (basic salary plus allowances) + one day's leave in lieu plus 50% of remuneration; or Option B: 100% of normal daily remuneration (basic salary plus allowances) + 150% of basic salary. Exclusions

The UAE Labour Law states that overtime should not exceed two hours per day, unless it is necessary to prevent substantial loss, a serious accident or to eliminate its consequences.


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