190224 uae public holidays
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: The last long weekend of the year is almost here and while many residents would be enjoying a break, there are some who may still need to go in to the office. If you are required to work during a national holiday, what kind of compensation can you expect, according to the UAE Labour Law?

A Gulf News reader wrote in regarding the upcoming national holidays, asking: “I have joined a new company in the UAE and found out that we are required to work even during public holidays. The company gives us compensatory days off but no additional pay for working on a national holiday. Is this according to the UAE Labour Law? If not, where can we complain?”

Article 74 of the UAE Labour Law states that a worker is entitled to an official leave with full payment on national holidays.

According to the UAE government’s official website – government.ae – if an employee is required to work during holidays or leaves, he will be granted another rest day as well as an increase of 50 per cent on his basic wage for that day. If he cannot be granted another day off, he is entitled to receive an additional 150 per cent on his basic wage for that day according to Article 81 of the Labour Law. This is in accordance with Article 81 of the Employment Law, which states:

"Where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work on a public holiday or rest day in respect of which he is entitled to full or partial pay, he shall be granted compensatory leave in respect of such days, together with a bonus equal to 50 per cent of his remuneration. If he is not compensated for such days by leave, his employer shall pay him a bonus equal to 150 per cent of his basic remuneration in respect of the days worked."

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 your 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, these are the steps you need to follow.

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.