UAE employee gets lieu day if asked to work on Friday

I am the manager of a small company that has regular dealings in both Europe and the US. I’d like to know if I am allowed to ask my employees to work on a Friday from time to time and have received conflicting information as to whether this is permitted. Can you clarify the situation? FD, Dubai

It is stated in Article 70 of UAE Labour law that “Friday is the normal weekly holiday for all employees except for those on daily wage bases”, but it goes on to say “if the employee is required to work on Friday he shall be granted one day off for rest or be paid the basic pay for normal working hours plus 50 per cent increase at least of such pay.” So it is permitted to request that an employee work on a Friday but they must either be paid extra or have time off in lieu. Article 71 must also be borne in mind and this states that “except for labourers on daily wage, an employee may not work on more than two Fridays successively.” There is an exemption to be aware of, and this also applies to the payment of overtime, as Article 72 states that the aforementioned provisions “shall not apply to the following categories: 1. Persons holding responsible senior posts in the management or supervision if holders of such titles are vested with the authorities or employers over employees, and such category is to be determined by the Minister of Labour and ­Social Affairs.”

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.

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