UAE firms must cut Ramadan working hours - gov't

Ministry of Labour says working hours must be reduced by two hours for everyone
UAE firms must cut Ramadan working hours - gov't
Sharia, Sharia compliance, sukuk, Islamic finance
By Sara Anabtawi
Thu 12 Jul 2012 12:35 PM

UAE working hours during Ramadan will be cut by two hours for employees across both public and private sectors, regardless of whether they are Muslim or not, the Ministry of Labour announced.

A ministry statement said that employers would be required to reduce working hours to 36 per week during the Islamic holy month, which is expected to begin on July 21.

Those caught breaching the rules face fines, the ministry said.

Employees will be permitted to work overtime, but for a maximum of two hours per day, and will be entitled to payment of 25 percent of their basic salary in the daytime, and 50 percent at nighttime.

In 2011, the Ministry of Labour said it received 46 complaints from employees in Dubai claiming their companies were flouting laws that restrict working hours in Ramadan

A poll by Arabian Business at the time found private sector firms were split in their adherence to laws that cut working days to six-hours during the holy month.

Nearly half – 49 percent – of readers said their employers had cut their days to six-hours without impacting on their salaries, to fall in line with Ministry of Labour regulations.

But a further 44 percent said their companies were flouting guidelines by asking them to work full days, without overtime pay.

The survey, which polled 541 readers, found just four percent of respondents worked overtime but were paid compensation for the extra hours.

Three percent of readers said their working hours had been cut during Ramadan – but their salaries had also been slashed to reflect this.

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