UAE | Employment

Workers urged to report Ramadan work hour violations

Overtime must be paid or action will be taken, ministry tells companies

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 13:34 July 31, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News
  • Office goers on Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road in Bur Dubai. The Ministry of Labour has urged employees, who are obliged to work normal hours during Ramadan without getting overtime payment, to file complaints to the ministry.

Dubai: The Ministry of Labour has urged employees, who are obliged to work normal hours during Ramadan without getting overtime payment, to file complaints to the ministry.

Daily work hours have been reduced by two hours during Ramadan as per the UAE Labour Law and the weekly work hours should not exceed 36 hours as against 48 hours in other months. The rule applies to all UAE workers irrespective of their religion.

We will investigate any complaint that reaches us, complaints will be handled in a confidential manner. If a complaint is credible, the company will be warned to adhere to the rules

Ministry of Labour spokesman

A spokesman for the ministry told Gulf News that they will investigate any reports of violations. Company that do not comply with the rules are in breach of Federal labour law and face penalties.

“We will investigate any complaint that reaches us, complaints will be handled in a confidential manner. If a complaint is credible, the company will be warned to adhere to the rules.

“In cases of repeated offences, the company will face a penalty as per the labour law,” the spokesman said.

He said the ministry is conducting random inspections.

Some job types, such as hospital staff, are recognised by the ministry as requiring longer work hours.

Under Ramadan work rules, those workers should be granted overtime.

Overtime should be paid at 25 per cent of the employee’s basic salary for day duty and 50 per cent for night duty, according to the guidelines.

A ministry official confirmed they have so far received no complaints from workers.

But some workers do feel their companies are ignoring the rules.

“I recently joined work at a restaurant in Dubai. The manager has given few workers 7 hours duty without overtime,” said a woman who works for a restaurant in Dubai.

The woman, who does not want to be named, said most of her colleagues are working 10 hours every day without overtime.

“Now we know the government’s rules on this are strict, if the company wants us to work more than six hours during Ramadan, they should at least pay us overtime.

Another worker, who did not want to be named, said that if the ministry closely monitored companies, they will be forced to pay overtime or let workers do less hours.

“That will be helpful to the workers and their families,” he said.

Comments (21)

  1. Added 19:26 August 9, 2607

    I wish to let you people know that we are working as regular timing about 9hrs a day n sometimes 10hrs. We have done our office shifting for nearly 6 days when Ramadan started. We also work on Saturday from 11Am - 4pm. It means we work 50hrs a week Is the Working time issues by UAE not for SAIF Zone companies?

    Saif Naik, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:26 August 9, 2607

    hope the ministry of labor support free zone employees also. please come one time to free zone, sharjah FZE near by international airport.

    ilyas, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    This is one area where all Gulf countries should enforce laws, labor rights more strictly. Employers cannot mistreat workers, or put them in unfortunate situations. The holy month of Ramadan is a good time for introspection and to learn more about God and what he expects of us. Wish all Muslims a happy Ramadan.

    Anonymous, Toronto, Canada

  4. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    our company is making us work for more than 8 hours for ramadan without paying overtime.and also the bonus which was supposed to be given is not given.pls do something or provide us with toll free no to make our complaint.

    varghese titus, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    Nobody seems to be concerned about the people those who are working in Shopping malls and showrooms, retail shops. They don't have leave, holidays. They have to work from morning to midnight everyday...some shops allow 2 hours lunch break. They are also getting nominal salary without any overtime...Please pay attention to these people also...

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    I want to know if this rule applies for companies in Sharjah as well. I am a housewife and my husband's works for more than 10 hours a day without overtime.. he comes late because of the job stress and because of this we are having issues at home.

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    This has been the long issue. The employees are afraid to report because they will lose their jobs. The government should take actions for this to protect the employees. If the government can email all the registered companies about the rules every Ramadan about the rules and fines I think it will inform them that this has to be strictly followed!

    Zenith_fate, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    I am a NON- Muslim, and as per my company I have to work normal working hours 9 Am - 6 Pm. I really find it unfair as other companies work till 3pm and we work till 6pm without over time. I cant even complain as I am scared if my management finds out, I'll loose my job. kindly advise

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    Hi All, I guess the toll free number is 800-665 Cheers :)

    Tony Andrews, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 19:25 August 9, 2607

    The rule is very good.But how many company is following this rule? That is much important. My company is having duty time from 8 to 3 without any overtime.Please do necessary action.

    Anonymous, ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments

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