Ramadan working hours as per Labour Laws

Ramadan and Working Hours

Ramadan in UAE this year (2017) may start on May 27th and end on June 24th. However, please note this is dependent on the moon sightings. 

During Ramadan working hours are reduced by 2 hours on every working day. Suppose, your daily working hours are from 8AM to 5PM, your office hours could be reduced by 2 hours as per company policy or convenience. This is irrespective whether you are a Muslim or non-Mulsim; meaning everyone under UAE Labour Law is entitled to 2 hours less working hours during Ramadan.working-hours-ramadan-as-per-uae-labour-law

Working hours during Ramadan under UAE Labour Law – MOL

Under MOL UAE Labour Law, Ramadan working hours are reduced for Muslims and non-Muslims as well. It is applicable for both indoor and outdoor work. Workers who work on construction site will continue to have the midday break from 12 to 3PM. This is covered under Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law. However, salaries of employees will not be reduced during shorter working hours.

Article 65 of UAE Labour Law talks about this clause which you can clearly read below: During the month of Ramadan, normal working hours shall be reduced by 2 hours.

ramadan-working-hours-uae

What about Free zones?

Although UAE Labour Law does not apply in Free zone areas in UAE, most companies do follow UAE Labour Law and the rule regarding working hours is followed; however, the companies need not follow  this.

Ramadan work timings in DIFC

In the Part 4, Point No 23 of the DIFC Employment Law, you can read about the reduced working hours. It mentions that, only Muslims who observe fast not be required to work in excess of six (6) hours each day. 

working-hours-dubai-difc-ramadan

Overtime in Ramadan as per UAE Labour Law

If an employee chooses to work overtime he can do it for a maximum of 2 hours and his employer can not ask them to work more time. If the employee chooses to work extra 2 hours he has to be paid an overtime of 25 per cent(%) of his basic salary per day for day time and 50% for night duty.

In case of violations from employers, complaints can be lodged at Ministry o Labour Call centre 800665.

School Timings During Ramadan in Dubai

As per the latest directive from KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority -Dubai), it has been announced that the school timings can be maximum of 5 hours during Ramadan. The school day would start between 8 to 8:30 AM and end by 1 to 1:30 PM.

Mohammed Darwish, Chief of Regulations & Permits Commission (RPC) at KHDA said, “Schools should ensure that the total hours for students do not exceed five hours duration per day. The school day during Ramadan will start between 8:00 to 8:30 am and finish between 1:00 to 1:30 pm with shorter breaks as required.”

Schools have also been instructed to exempt fasting students from physical exercise/education (PE) classes or any other demanding physical activities. Additionally, fasting students are prohibited from exposure to heat to avoid the risk of exhaustion and dehydration.

Few basic etiquettes to follow during Ramadan:

  • Show respect to those who observe fast;
  • Refrain from eating in public areas. Although UAE is an open minded country,  show respect to the laws;
  • Do not smoke in public places even at designated smoking areas;
  • Dress up with self respect;
  • Greet ‘Ramadan Kareem‘ to those who you colleagues who are celebrating Ramadan.

I wish everyone a blessed Ramadan.

About Deepak 505 Articles
Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.
  • Hi Sir,

    In some companies in UAE, in their offer letter they including some closes like
    1. when the employee resign from the company, they need to pay 45 days salary + visa expense back to the company.
    2. Also they paying the basic salary only as leave salary when employee going for annual vacation.
    3. also after completing one visa. when we regretting to renew company making problem and they asking for previous visa expense.

    Is it legal or include in the Labor Law of UAE.

      • Hi Deepak,

        1. If we nee to pay the 45 days salary that means only the basic or total package because company paying only the basic as annual leave salary.
        2. regarding this annual leave salary they mentioned this in the offer letter. In this case what is the condition ?
        3. one more question , in offer letter salary is actual an in the labor contract another, then which is the valued one ?
        4. Have any emigration ban for Engineer Visa In UAE ?

        • Varghese,
          1. 45 days Total salary.
          2. I am not sure what is mentioned! Please let me know.
          3. Salary mentioned in the Labour contract is the valid salary.
          4. Why you ask? Immigration ban in only in extreme cases.

          • 4. why am asking this question, one of my friend he worked as a peoduction engineer in hamriya free zone in 3 year visa and he resigned from the company after 2 years. that time the company made some problems to him and he registered complaint in free zone authority. the authority give ordered the company to pay all dues and send him back without ban. But after that thru the company owner, company requested to stamp him one year emigration ban and they done it. This is the reason for ask this question.
            5. Also let me know have any option to lift emigration ban ?

  • Hi sir, From the last 3 and half years am working in a construction company on unlimited contract. I submitted my resignation on April. Now almost 45 days completed. Means 15 days more after the one month notice period. But the company still not giving any reply or settlement. What should I do.

    • Athul,
      Have you received official communication about your acceptance of resignation.
      Are you still working?

  • Does the 2 hours reduction in working in the holy month of Ramadan include one hour lunch break as well. For that matter only 1 hour recession is allowed by the law?

  • Hello Deepak,

    My previous company terminated me which I am under probationary period because of misconduct and then they told me Im not allowed to work in any company for two years, but when I checked it to the MOL they told me that I got only 6 months ban which will going to end this coming few months. And I can find another employer after the grace period.
    Do I have to worry about the company ban or just follow what the labor office said to me?

  • Hello. I just want to ask, what if we are working on a freezone company, can we have Ramadan working timings also? Or do we still need to work 9 hours per day? Thank you in advance for the reply. I just badly want to know.

  • Dear sir
    I need some information for you,that my company owner is taken my original documents.and they are not returned back,i dont have any proof,and i am also cancelled our visa,now what i can do that they are returned my original documents.thanks

  • Hi,
    Is it true that employees who have Fr and Sat off should work 7,5 hours in Ramadan while employees who take only Fr off will have to work only 6 hours? Our HR say it’s as per Article 65 of labor law, but I can’t really fine it! Thanks!
    Mario

    • Mario,
      I don’t read it that way. It is clearly mentioned “During the month of Ramadan, normal working hours shall be reduced by two hours”, in Article 65 of UAE Labour Law.

  • Hi Sir,
    Please tell me the duty timing of security during Ramadan is not reduce if not any benefit against it and also tell me Free zone Company not under the labor roles.Thanks

  • Our company has announced Ramadan timing as 9AM to 5 PM, is this fare and binded with Law.
    What should i do.

    • Avil,
      What are your current working times?
      It must be reduced by 2 hours as per the UAE Labour Law.

  • Sir I worked with a company they process my visa but stop immediately with immigration and terminate me. Now that company didn’t giving me mol cancellation after many times humble request to company.

    Please give me suggestion.

    1. Can I come on visit.
    2. how can I get cancellation mind it pls right now I am in Pakistan.

    thanks

    • Rehman,
      1. Yes, I think you can come on visit.
      2. Your company PRO will be able to help you.

  • Hi deepak,

    In our company they didn’t follow the labour law. always office timing is 9.am to 9.pm. if we are asking it will only applicable for muslims only, for non muslims normal time only. can you give suggestion for that

  • Dear Deepak,
    Kindly let me know, I am not interested to work with current Employer, ‘coz he’s cheated me with wrong job profile & no growth are in cards.

    Therefore, I have joined during end of Feb, 15. Whether I need to compete 6 months probationary period or what will be the best solution to work with any other employer.

    I need to know whether Date of joining or Date of VISA Stamping is calculated for 6 months.

    If I choose to give one month notice on completion of 6 months, what are all the benefits I will get under UAE Labour laws.

    If I resign before 6 months, what are all the liabilities to be cleared from my end.
    Employer spent so far on my employment;
    (a) One way Air-ticket for joining
    (b) Emirates-ID, Medical check-up &
    (c) Medical Insurance
    (d) Residence VISA expenses

    Thanks in advance

    • Rajesh,
      DOJ will be as per your Labour card.
      If you quit before completion of 1 year you will not receive any benefits.
      The expense made by employer on visa need not be returned if it is not mentioned in your labour contract.

  • hello!!! I just want to clarify since the Ramadan schedule is less 2 hours,how about me that having a feed hour(nursing mom)am I going to have 1 hour more less in my schedule?? pls help me to clear this out.thank you

    • Sarah,
      You should have 3 hour reduction logically speaking.
      BUt you will need to confirm with the HR and if possible MOL.

  • Hi, our management team just announces our timings during Ramadan. And it seems to me that he’s not abiding the Labor rule. our timings are from 9am-3pm then come back at 7pm-9m? Need help here

  • Why employees have automatic ban in labor’ if the employers cancelled their contract less than a year in their option without a valid reason, either not satisfied or violating rules.

  • Hi Deepak,
    I have just completed 3 years and planning to resign. How much gratuity will I get. My basic is AED 25 K

  • Hi we already ask the labour about the timings this Ramadan and as we know timing will be maximum of 8 hours only. And we talk about that together with our boss and he told us who don’t want to duty 12 hours go to mol! What should we do?

  • sir . my question is what effort do labour put to ensure that all this are being carried out effectively by the companies eg timimg is 8-9 hrs but some companies under labour here works 12-14hrs daily and nothing is done about it pls why?

  • hi…since the working hours should be reduce for two hours, why does my company still want us to work from 9 am til 9 pm. i know they are making illegal things especially in timings. in usual day.. we are working split time. from 9 am – 1pm then 3:30 p till 9pm.. and i just red that all employees should work only for 8 hours a day. then now in ramadan day they want us to work from 9 am – 1pm then 4 pm – 9 pm.. this is too much right? and they are not also giving overtime pay. what to do?

  • Hello Deepak,

    I live next to construction site and during normal days loud noisy construction stopped at 8 pm. Now with Ramadan the loud work starts after iftar till late midnight.

    Do you know what the law says about this?

    • Roger,
      The construction site should have necessary Municipal approvals to carry on the works during odd hours.
      There is a law; however, I am not able to correctly recall.
      You could go to the construction site and ask for the permission letter.

  • Hi, what is the punishment for companies who refuse to implement ramadan timing in their companies?

    • Angela,
      It is not mentioned in the Labour Law.
      You could inquire with MOL directly.
      Also let us know if you hear anything on this from MOL.

  • I began working in the month of feb 2015, with my resisdence visa. The company said they would make a labour card for me, of which i am yet to get.

    After two months, my salary was reduced. Now its ramadan period but i still work with the same timing, 9:30 am- 5:00pm.

    My intention is to endure and work for 6 months before leaving, as i dont get any benefits from the company,(No transportation, feeding and housing allowance).

    If you can advise me on what to do, i will appreciate it.

  • Hi,
    In regards with the Ramadan timing, our company was asking us to do overtime up to 6pm. They want us to work from 8am – 6pm. We are asking for the management to issue a memorandum regarding our timing and compensation for the overtime. But until now they where not issuing any memorandum that why we are following what was on the UAE labour law for ramadan timing. Is there any ground that our company can issue to us by not following them w/o memorandum? Or we are right to ask them for the memo?

  • We here in shobra shoe palace (warehouse department) are forced to work from 9am to 2am, can anybody help us!

    • MOL should be able to help in this regard.
      Please also note that all are not exempt from this rule! There are some exceptions!

  • Hi! I have question. I already have my visa, emirates ID and I already sign my contract. on my offer letter my position is administration personnel but when my visa come, on my visa position is general clerk. and I’m working from 8 am to 6 pm. without a proffer break time. and the company requires me also to clean the office, the toilet. and I also carry some heavy product on our ware house during the inventory, and delivery because we are only two employee. me the general clerk and the driver. now I’m on my probationary period as stated on my contract 6 months. I’m only one moth to this company and I wanted to resign. what are the consequences that I would be facing if I do resign? is the company can ask me to pay back for all the expenses they give me for my exit? for the hotel, food and air ticket and also for my visa? what is the best thing to do? thank you

    • Grace,
      If you resign, you will face labour ban.
      If it is mentioned in your contract, then you have to pay the expenses and depending on your contract type you may have to compensate the company.
      Best thing is to speak to your employer and inform about your situation.

  • Hi,

    I had a job for 2 months as Operations Manager with salary of 12,000. On the 31st, my boss told me that my he is terminating my job . He has not paid my last months salary. I have reported to M.O.L regarding this and my court date is on the 1st of July

    My questions is this

    1) Will i get a 6 months Labor Ban
    2) What amount am i entitled to received from employer.

  • Hi, in my case since i am not a Muslim and not fasting, should i not take a lunch break for let say 30 mnts? and if ever, should i extend another 30 mnts to cover my break?

  • I have a question. I’m on dubai LLC visa occupation as Engineer. I have completed my contract period which is actually unlimited but 2 years have been completed. My visa has been renewed and contract is same. I have a question here If I switch my job to somewhere with above the bracket of 12K will I face any problem at this condition? Also in addition I had some 3 product training overseas and company asked me to sign on acknowledgment, I don’t have the copies but it says on mutual understanding I should stay with the company additional 2 years more thats on plain white paper not on company’s letter head. will this make any problem to me?

  • Hi,

    does 2 hours reduction also applicable to private sector? my employer said that we are not entitled to ramadan office timing because we are in private sector. I’m working 9 – 6pm.

  • I’m a Muslim and working in a private sector. Am I entitled to work only 6 hours? Because my American employer keep insisting that I should work 7 hours and not 6hours. And to my previous job before i work only 6 hours.

    • Khadija,
      Ramadan working hours are= normal working hours minus 2 hours.
      What’s your normal working hours? If it is 9 hours per day, you will need to work for 7 hours.

  • Hello Deepak,
    I got a job as a supervior in a free zone company, i have been there for more than six month now, and i had another offer from diffident company with twice my present salary. if i resign to join the new company, is there any penalty? Please advice

  • Deepak M,

    From the start of Ramadan i was working from 10am-4pm and then 8pm-1am is this right? What should i do best? Even im asking my boss that it was too much she still refuses it seems that iam working the whole day im in the field of Sales.

  • Hi Deepak

    I got my job last week and my employer told exit to Kish by 10/07 we will forward the visa.
    my question is.
    how many days will be taken for getting employment visa during Ramadhan
    is it possible will getting 1 or 2 days.

  • In addition, this schedule is everyday and we dont have any time in and time out sheet she refuses us to have one. She doesnt even pay for the overtime ever since i started in her company.

    Thank you Sir, im looking forward to ur advices.

  • Asalam alaikum.sir I’m a housemaid before and now I want to change my line of work. I’ve been applied already for my new type of visa(sales) and my new boss told me I’m rejected for 3 times. Is there any problem for being a housemaid visa to change into another type of visa or work? My new boss paid all the penalties and whatever fees they are imposing.I’m waiting for more than a month now for my visa to come out.but until now nothing . I have my pre approval working permit only…thank you sir for giving attention to my query…

    • Miriam,
      There is no such problem when you change the profession.
      May be there is ban on you.

  • Hi Mr. Deepak
    During Ramadan, if the Employees or Laborers work for 6 hours, is it counted as 8 hours?

    Thanks

  • Dear Deepak,

    I m working in a restaurant.i want to know about the resignation policy. Suppose I have 24 months contracts can I gave resign in 23 month because one month as a notice period.i m eligible for which type of benefits.tell me

  • Hi Deepak,
    Im seeking an advise what is the best i should do about my case? This is the situation im sick, i decided to tell my employer that i cannot go for work just for one day and i will show her my medical and sickleave certificate once i get back to work but she refuses she shouted me on the phone and told me that i still need to go from work because we are in need of staff she did not believe me that im sick instead she told me that i need to go from work and bring my certificates but i told her that if needs it already my sister will bring it to her because i cannot go i still need some rest she keeps on shouting me on the phone and even told me that she will deduct it to my salary that is equivalent to 5 days.

    • Michelle,
      That’s inhuman behaviour on part of your employer.
      Sick leave is a right of employee under the given circumstances.

  • Deepak hi are you sure overt itme is paid? if my boss forces me ? My offer says is ot is asked will not be paid so i can as well refuse to stay ot but i will be fired. so what is the solution? also do u know the exact labor rules for reaching to office late?regarding salary deduction

  • Hi Deepak,
    Im working with a DIFC firm and im on continous night shift for morethan 2 years now. The duty time is from 10pm to 8 am in the morning. My position in the company is of assistant manager. I’m only getting the basic salary. Is their any provision in DIFC labour laws to get an overtime. Weekly working hours 50 hours.

  • Good day!

    I wanna ask if it is really okay to work 9hrs during ramadan?My company is requiring us. And I believe its really unfair. For all I know its only 6hrs work during ramadan. The excess time is not paid as Overtime. Can you help us out?

    • It is illegal to make employees work for normal work hours minus 2 hours per day during Ramadan. This is clearly mentioned in the UAE Labour Law.

  • Deepak,

    How does the Ramadan timings affect the breastfeeding mothers at work. Will they continue to have two 30 minutes breaks or 1 hour break? E.g. if Ramadan timings at office is 9am to 4pm, can the breastfeeding mothers leave by 3pm to feed their baby?

      • Hi Deepak.

        My wife has similar concerns as Dan about Ramadan timings for breastfeeding mothers and whether they should work for 6 hours like everyone else or 5 hours (1 hour less).

        Could you get a definitive answer from a Lawyer or the Ministry of Labor?

  • Dear Deepak,

    Ramadan Kareem. Our normal office timing is 8am to 5.30 pm with one hour lunch break (Sun-Thur).
    So during Ramadan time how hours should work with out lunch break.
    Its mentioned in labour law 2 hours reduced from working hours that means 8am to 2.30pm without lunch break
    or 8am to 3.30pm without lunch break.

  • Hello Deepak bhai, i need your help urgent. My problem is my agent has cheated about my job, he told that my job will be in Packing section of electrical goods company. But here this was a labour supply company to constructions. I am working from one month i am not interested and having so many health problems due to heat. I have asked my manager to send back India. He refused and demanding 5000 dirham to send back. And he taken more money to emirates id card, our camp is too worst. He is showing partialty in giving money. My frds advised me to complain in Indian embassy. Today i take leave and waiting to call to embassy, if i call them can i get any help from them….? Day by day my condition is going bad suffering from Home sick, after knowing my condition my mother gone sick and she is in hospital , she wants me to stay with her this time… And also i have got to know that if i cancel this new visa in this year i don’t apply for 6 month work ban is it true… If it is true can I search another job while going and return back in 1 and half month.. Please send me reply to my num 0523957199

  • Dear Depak,

    My company doesn’t follow Ramadan Timings, they want us to work 12hrs still. I’m afraid to report in MOL because there are some feed backs that the company will know about it and most of them that reports got fired. So is there any possible way that authorities will check this company?

    • Hi,

      Please call 800665 MOL, and tell them you want to submit Secret Complaint. They will keep your name secret during the Complaint.

      Thanks,

  • Ramadan Kareem!!

    Hi Deepak,

    Yesterday I asked my employer about our duty timing for Ramadan, She said there is no changes for working timing it means 9 hours a day, I told to her that the MOL reduce the working hour for 2 hrs. And she replied to me that we are not a Muslim.

    My question is:

    If I call to MOL and complain my company,what will happen?
    You think they will know that I am the one who complain to MOL? and Maybe they will terminate me?

    Thanks!!

      • Hi This is the first time I will ask advice, My employer always abused our time our office timings is 8am to 5:30 Pm during regular days but they always extend our time but no pay during Ramadan its should reduce of 2 hours. instead they still give us over time without pay.
        if I will ask to leave on time they will not allowed us to go on time.
        Do I have the right to complain ministry of labour ?

  • I would just like to ask if I complain to the labour department and I want my details to remain private and they give my details to my company and I get terminated a few months later due to my complaint can I make a case against the labour department for giving out my information?

    My husband is working for a company that has friends within the labour department and when ever one of the employees complain to the labour department then a month later they get terminated and no issue is resolved. Staff are to afraid to do anything about it, they work in really bad conditions, no AC, no toilets, no staff room to eat, they work 10hours a day with 1,5hours break even during Ramadan they still work 10hours with no overtime pay. If they are late for work, every 5min they get deducted 3dhs from their salary so of they 1 hour late they get deducted 21dhs. Not even I can complain to the labour department for my husband if they find out it’s me then my husband will get terminated.
    They get paid late every month after the 15th. They give some of the staff jobs to do to go drive and pick up equipment and stuff and if you are in a accident even if it’s not your fault they will deduct the damage from your salary.

    They are a really bad company and I really want to do something but can’t afford my husband losing his job right now, even though he is looking for other work. Still something needs to be done. As everyone that is working there is suffering.

  • Hello,
    I am muslim working as interior designer in a company (showroom) on a part time basis, meaning i work from 10am to 5 pm including 1 hour break ( total 6 working hours).
    1- Do i have the right to reduce my working hours in ramadan time?since i’m a part timer already
    2- They want us to start working from 12 pm to 6 pm at some days and other days from 3 to 6 pm and 9pm to 12 am. Is this leagal?

  • hi
    i work in sales, our shop is open from 6 am to 1 am. there is two shifting. 1st shift is 10AM- 5pm and return 8pm to 1am. second is 1pm-1am.
    I would ask if its leggal or if not how can you help us.