Dubai: Driving to and from work can be a constant bother for many workers, especially if you live far from your workplace. However, quite often living close to where you work is not a practical or affordable option. What can you do if your employer asks you to move houses and live closer to where you work? A Gulf News reader wrote in raising the question.
He said: “I have seen for some time how Gulf News helps people with their queries, which encouraged me to write in. My query is that my brother is working with a company as a driver. His job was as a delivery person and now the company is asking him to go to another branch of the company, which is still okay, but the company is asking him to shift his house because of the job requirements. The manager there is saying that the work there starts at 4am and it continues till 12 midnight. There are breaks in between, which is okay, and he will be the only driver. I just want to know is it legal for the company to ask him to change our house for the company’s sake, as they are saying that they may even need him for urgent work after midnight.”
Gulf News raised the query with Mohamed Elmasry, Junior Associate at Al Suwaidi and Company, advocates and legal consultants who referred to articles 67 and 68 of the UAE Labour Law, which cover the calculation of overtime work and night overtime work. While general overtime work entitles an employee to receive an additional 25 per cent of the wage, based on the hourly calcualtions, working overtime during night hours (9pm to 4am) entitle a person to receive an additional 50 per cent wage at least. However, it is important to be able to log in the working hours to claim the overtime pay.
“The employee shall prove that the additional working hours were completed as per the employer’s request, which means that the employee must always keep all required documentation to prove the overtime working hours. Moreover, any clause that deprives an employee of his right to earn overtime wage for extra working hours shall be deemed null and void,” Elmasry said.
The employee shall prove that the additional working hours were completed as per the employer’s request, which means that the employee must always keep all required documentation to prove the overtime working hours.
Article 67 – Overtime
“Should the work circumstances require the carrying out by the worker of a work for more than the ordinary working hours, the additional period shall be deemed an overtime, for which the worker shall be paid a wage equivalent to the ordinary hourly wage with an addition of at least 25 per cent of the said wage.”
Article 68 – Night Overtime
“Should the work circumstances require the carrying out by the worker of an overtime work between 9pm and 4am, the worker shall be entitled, in counterpart for the overtime, to a wage equivalent to the ordinary hourly wage with an addition of at least 50 per cent of the said wage.”
As for the decision to move one’s home from one place to another, Elmasry said that as commute times are not included in work hours, it would be practical for an employee to find a residence closer to one’s place of work.
“It is preferable and practical that the employee choose a place of residence near the work site as the time spent from travelling home to work will not be included in the working hours.”
This is according to Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law, which covers the maximum number of working hours for an employee and how the time is calculated. At the end of the article, it is stated: “The commutation periods spent by the worker from the place of residence to the work site thereof shall not be calculated within the working hours.”
Elmasry added: “Any employee must balance between work and personal life. However, if the work requires the presence of the employee due to necessary or emergency circumstances, then he should be present in order to prove his competence, help the employer progress and to achieve success.”