New UAE Labor Law about Weekly off

Weekly off is defined as a day off given from the usual working days. This will ensure that the employee will have a better quality of life and a good work-life balance. A weekly day off provides a chance to spend more quality time with family and enhances the social well-being of employees.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has announced the introduction of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 that will regulate labor relations and employment practice in UAE. The New UAE Labor Law is the most substantial change to the existing UAE Labor Law (UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1980) since its inception, and it will replace the Current UAE Labor Law entirely.

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    Comparison Between Previous law and new law

    Additional clauses and significant changes in Weekly off as per New UAE Labor Law

    According to Article 21 of new UAE Labor law, there is no specific weekly off day. The employee shall be granted a paid weekly off of not less than one day, based on the employment contract or work regulation. UAE law has provided the freedom of choice to the private sector companies to choose their day off.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is the minimum period of weekly off that must be provided to employees?

      The employees are entitled to a minimum of 1 day of weekly off.

    2. When is the weekly off for Government employees?

      The employees of the federal government are granted a two-and-a-half-day weekly off, from Friday afternoon till Sunday, in all the emirates except Sharjah. In Sharjah, entire Friday is considered as a weekly off.

    3. Is two days weekly off or five days work week mandatory in UAE?

      Two days weekly off is not mandatory in UAE, however many companies in UAE are following five days work week with two day weekly off to keep employee more happier, healthier and more productive.

    4. Is there any specification for weekly off for private-sector employees?

      There is no specification in new law regarding the weekly day off. The UAE law has provided the freedom of choice to the private sector companies to choose their day off.

    5. Are the employees eligible for full pay during the weekly off days?

      The employees are eligible for full pay during the weekly off.

    6. What will happen if the employees are asked to work during the weekly off?

      If the circumstances require that the worker works on the weekly off specified in the employment contract or work regulation, employee shall be compensated with another day off or employee shall be paid the wage of that day according to the wage established for normal working days, plus an increase of not less than (50%) fifty per cent of the basic wage for that day.

    7. What is the basis for compensation for the work done during weekly off?

      The employee shall be paid the normal wages plus an extra 50% of the basic wage for that day.

    8. When is the weekly off for banking sector in UAE?

      All banks in UAE remain open six days a week including Friday. Sunday is the official weekly off for banking sector.

    9. Can the employer ask the employee to work for consecutive weekly off days?

      An employee shall not be instructed to work for more than two consecutive weekly off days, except for day workers.

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