Question: I work for a company in Dubai. I want to opt for overtime at work. Can you explain the rules around this? Is there a maximum number of hours you can work overtime in Dubai? Please advise.
Reply: In accordance with your questions, we are assuming that you are employed by a company based on the Dubai mainland. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labor relations in the United Arab Emirates (the “Employment Law”) apply.
In the United Arab Emirates, an employee is entitled to overtime pay if circumstances require him to work more than his working hours. This is in accordance with section 67 of the Employment Act, which states: “If the circumstances of the work require an employee to work more than normal working hours, the overtime will be considered as overtime, for which the employee will receive remuneration equal to that corresponding to his normal working hours plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of such remuneration.
In addition, if an employee’s overtime hours are worked between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., the employer must pay the employee an additional 50 percent of the overtime pay. This is in accordance with section 68 of the Employment Act.
In accordance with Article 69 of the Employment Law, overtime may not exceed two hours per day, unless circumstances are due to an emergency or to avoid substantial loss to the entity.
The employment law is silent on an employee’s rights to require an employer to work overtime and earn extra pay. However, the employee is entitled to payment for overtime in accordance with the aforementioned legal provisions. Therefore, you can only ask your employer to allow you to work overtime and it is up to them to assign them.
It should also be noted that employees in managerial or supervisory positions are not entitled to overtime pay. This is in accordance with Article 72 of the Employment Law, which states: “The provisions of this section do not apply to the following categories:
1. Persons holding positions of responsibility in management or supervision whether the holders of these titles are vested with authorities or employers over employees, and this category shall be determined by the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization.
2. Ship crews and seafarers who work under special conditions of service due to the nature of their work, excluding seaport workers who carry out loading and unloading and related work.
Ashish Mehta is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the details of his practice on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.