Question: What is the law regarding companies making its employees work on national holidays like National Day, etc? Our Dubai-based, non-free zone company makes all employees work on national holidays and gives compensatory days off later. Is this legal?
Answer: Pursuant to your query, an employer may ask its employees to work on national holidays and compensate its employees by granting a day off on another day provided the employer pays 50 per cent extra remuneration for working on a national holiday. In the event the employer does not grant compensatory leave to its employees, the employer should pay its employees a bonus equal to 150 per cent of the basic remuneration of its employees. This is in accordance with Article 81 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') which states, "where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work on 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".
KNOW THE LAW: The employer has to pay 50 per cent extra remuneration for working on a national holiday along with a compensatory off day or 150 per cent of the basic remuneration of its employees.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.
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