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 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.
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.
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.