Stock office staff in Dubai
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Dubai: The Eid Al Fitr holidays for the private sector have just ended and while many residents enjoyed the long Eid break, others may have been required to come in to work. If you do work on a public holiday, what are your rights in terms of being compensated for working during that period?

The new UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 – came into effect in February this year and Article 28 of the law looks at public holidays and how workers in the private sector should be compensated for working during the leave days.

Here is a detailed look at what the law says:

1. The worker shall be entitled to official days off with full pay on public holidays, which are defined by a resolution of the Cabinet.

2. If work conditions require that the worker works during any of the public holidays, the employer shall compensate him with another day off for each day, on which he works during the holiday, or pay him the wage for that day according to the wage established for the normal working days, plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day.

However, it is important to note that there are certain conditions that need to be met, for the compensation to be applicable to an employee.

Suneer Kumar, Senior associate at Al Suwaidi and company said: “Article 28 of UAE Labour Law No. 33/2021 is applicable to all employees – irrespective of categories or grade – provided that the employer requested the employer to work or the work requirement necessitates the employee, with permission, to work during the public holidays. [Then the] employer will compensate them with another day of rest, in exchange for every day of holiday, or the employee will be paid the wages in respect of that day and will additionally be paid an excess of not less than 50 per cent of the basic salary for that day.”

Article 28 of UAE Labour Law No. 33/2021 is applicable to all employees – irrespective of categories or grade – provided that the employer requested the employer to work or the work requirement necessitates the employee, with permission, to work during the public holidays.

- Suneer Kumar, Senior associate at Al Suwaidi

How can I file a labour complaint?

As a worker in the UAE, if you wish to enquire about your rights, based on the UAE Labour Law, or raise complaints related to the compensation you receive, the easiest way to do so is by reaching out to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

MOHRE manages and regulates employer-employee relations in the UAE and any dispute between the two parties can be escalated with the authority for a solution based on the UAE Labour Law.

If you wish to file a complaint against your employer, you can use the following platforms:

1. Call the Ministry’s hotline on 800 60.
2. Download the MOHRE app and file a labour complaint
3. Visit www.mohre.gov.ae and select the option for filing a labour complaint.

You would need to create an account if you are choosing the second and third option. You would need your passport details and work permit (labour card) number to do so.

Once you file a complaint, you will receive a call within 72 working hours from a legal advisor with the Twa-fouq centre, who will try to initially find an amicable solution to the issue.

There is no fee charged from an employee for this process.