Take a break, employees in the UAE told

When working for five consecutive hours, employees employed in the private sector can take a break of at least one hour.
By: | January 31, 2023

After announcing recently that employers in the private sector can request employees to work overtime under certain conditions, the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has now clarified that employees are entitled to one or more breaks if they work for five consecutive hours. These breaks must not be less than one hour in duration, and they are not calculated within the working hours.

According to MoHRE, regular working hours should not exceed eight hours per day, or 48 hours per week, with commuting time excluded from these working hours, except in certain cases and within the conditions outlined in the implementing regulations.

READ: Short breaks at work improve employees’ well-being

Beyond the regular working hours, employers can only request employees to work overtime for up to two hours per day, unless any additional work is necessary to prevent “any loss or incidents or to eliminate or mitigate its effect.” The total number of working hours must also not exceed 144 hours every three weeks.

Employees working overtime will be entitled to remuneration equal to the basic salary value of their normal working hours plus an additional 25% of that value, which will be increased to 50% if overtime is performed between 10pm and 4am. Employees who work on a shift-based basis are not covered by this rule.