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Can you demand fair pay for extra work in UAE?

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


UAE, Dubai, fair pay, extra work, federal law, advisory disputes

It makes sense for the last athlete with few breaths left, to walk a few more miles but if you are sprinting from the first mile itself, you deserve to be rewarded. 

Though being rated as one of the best countries to pay its employees, UAE was still surveyed with employees clocking up an average of 24 hours per month.

Demanding fair pay for extra work
With Article 19(1) of the UAE Federal Law No. 33 of 2021, enforced on February 2, 2022, a maximum of 2 hours of overtime is permitted a day. Inferring the status of the ‘work in excess of normal hours’ from article 19(2) of the new law, such work will be called ‘overtime’ and the worker shall receive a wage corresponding to the normal working hours. Such wage shall not be calculated as less than 25% of the basic wage.

If your overtime takes place between 10 pm and 4 am, it can be paid under Article 19(3) at not less than 50% uplift of the basic salary. Therefore, you may be entitled to the basic wage plus an increase of 50% or more than 50% of that wage. 

Even work necessitated on weekends under the employment contract shall be compensated like another day off. Under Article 19(4), such can also be paid as an addition to the wage of normal working days with an increase of not less than 50% of the normal daily wage. The limit to not being instructed to work on weekends shall not be more than two consecutive weekends, but day workers are barred as an exception under Article 19(5).

In all cases, the total working hours, under article 19(1), shall not exceed 144 hours per 3 weeks, but certain exceptions apply.

Under the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 and the UAE Federal Law No. 33 of 2021, you are exempted from the above rules:-
● If you are a chairperson or member of the board of directors 
● If you carry supervisory positions, vesting powers of an employer to you 
● If you are in the crew of naval vessels and seafarers
● If you engaged in work of technical nature by a succession shift but that shall also not exceed 56 hours per week 
● If you are doing preparatory or complementary work, necessitating you beyond the time limits
The above labor law shall only apply to companies and employees in the private sector. Therefore, the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market are barred from these rules because they implement their employment laws.

Advisory for submitting a dispute 

If you want to submit a dispute between an employer and a worker, such a request can be made to the Ministry, which shall try to settle it amicably. If a friendly settlement is not possible, the Ministry may refer it to the competent court, which shall set a hearing within 3 working days from the date of request.

In the UAE, employers have always taken measures to negotiate and settle the disputes at the first stage itself and the settlement procedures laid down by the Ministry testifies to the same.

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