New UAE labor law: maximum working hours, overtime for private sector employees; everything you need to know – News

Here’s how to claim overtime for overtime hours worked every day

By Ashish Mehta

Posted: Sun Jan 2, 2022, 11:14 AM

Question: In a recent Khaleej weather report, I read that the maximum number of working hours per week is 48, in accordance with the new labor rules. I work for a company based in Dubai. I am regularly required to work more than my stipulated hours due to monthly target requirements. What does this maximum limit mean to me? If I have to stay in the office every day beyond my stipulated working hours to meet my predefined goals, can I claim overtime? What would be the compensation and how do you claim it?

Responnse: It is correct that the prescribed maximum working hours are 48 hours per week and 8 hours per day, under Article 17 (1) of Federal Legislative Decree No. (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Relations (the “New Law”); and pursuant to Section 7, Clause 1 of Federal Legislative Decree No. (47) of 2021 on General Standard Rules of Labor in the United Arab Emirates (the “New Rules of Labor These two laws will come into force for private sector employees in the United Arab Emirates from February 2, 2022 and will fully replace Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labor Relations.

However, under article 17 (2) of the new law on employment: “The Council of Ministers may, on the proposal of the Minister and in coordination with the entities concerned, increase or decrease the daily working time for certain economic sectors or certain categories of workers, in addition to the working hours, breaks and hours of work prohibition for certain categories of workers, according to the classification of the workforce set by the Executive Regulations of this decree- law.

Thus, the maximum limit of 48 hours per week will apply to you if your employment does not fall into any of the exempt categories determined by the Department of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE). You can contact MoHRE for more details.

As to your second question, if your job does not fall into the exempt categories, you have the right to claim overtime for the scheduled overtime hours each day.

Regarding your third question, there are prescribed formulas for calculating overtime pay under the new employment law. The relevant (translated) provisions of the new employment law are provided below.

“Article (19)

Over time

1. The Employer may employ the Worker for overtime hours, provided that they do not exceed 2 (two) hours per day, and the Worker may not work more than these hours, except in accordance with the procedures and conditions. specified by the Regulations for the execution of this decree-law. In any case, the total working hours must not exceed 144 hours in three weeks.

2. If the circumstances of the work require the worker to be employed for hours in excess of the regular working hours, this extended time will be considered as overtime for which the worker will receive his basic pay for his normal working hours plus a supplement. at least 25 percent of that salary.

3. If the circumstances of the work require the worker to be employed overtime between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., the worker will receive his basic pay for his regular hours of work plus a supplement of at least 50 percent of this salary. This paragraph does not apply to shift workers.

4. If the working circumstances require that the worker be employed on the day of rest specified in the employment contract or the internal labor regulations, he must be compensated by an alternative day of rest or receive his basic salary for his hours. normal working conditions. increased by a supplement of at least 50 per cent of this salary.

5. The Worker may not be employed for more than two consecutive days of rest, with the exception of day laborers.


In accordance with the above, you can request payment of overtime from your employer, if you are entitled to it. If your employer refuses to do so, you can contact MoHRE with your grievances.

Ashish Mehta is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the details of his practice on: Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

Maria D. Ervin