(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Published: Sun 5 Feb 2023, 2:27 PM
Last updated: Sun 5 Feb 2023, 2:54 PM
Question: In my Dubai-based office, my boss assigns me work via WhatsApp after office hours. He expects me to log in from home and complete the work that night itself. Is this legal? Does this fall under the definition of overtime? If yes, how do I claim it since the extra hours happen after I sign out of office? How do I address this?
Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland company based in Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Employment Law') and those of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations (the 'Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022') are applicable.
In the UAE, the regular working hours per day is eight or 48 per week. This is in accordance with Article 17(1) of the Employment Law. However, an employer may assign two hours of additional work per day. This is in accordance with Article 19(1) of the Employment Law, which states:“The employer may employ an employee for additional working hours, provided that they do not exceed two hours a day, and the employee may not work more than such hours unless according to the procedures and conditions specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law. In any event, the total working hours shall not exceed 144 hours in three weeks.'
However, if your employer assigns you work after office hours, then you are entitled to additional salary. This is in accordance with Article 19(2) of the Employment Law, which states:“If the work circumstances require that an employee be employed for hours exceeding the ordinary working hours, such extended time shall be deemed overtime, for which the employee shall be paid his basic salary for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of that salary.'
Further, the employer should pay an additional 50 per cent, at least, of the salary if an employee is assigned additional work between 10pm and 4am. This is in accordance with Article 19(3) of the Employment Law.
However, you may not be entitled for overtime if you are in a supervisory or managerial position. This is in accordance with Article 15 (4) (b) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states:“The following categories shall be exempted from the provisions relating to the maximum working hours:
b. The persons occupying supervisory positions if such positions vest in them the powers of the employer.”
Therefore, if you are not in a supervisory or managerial position, your employer should pay you additional salary for assigning you work after working hours on a regular basis. You need to inform your employer, that as you are working outside the prescribed working hours, you are entitled for overtime salary as per the provisions of the Employment Law.
In the event your employer refuses to pay you additional salary for working overtime, you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the 'MOHRE'). Further, to support your claim, you should submit relevant supporting evidence, which may include the WhatsApp conversation from your employer, relevant emails of the work assigned and completed by you after office hours, time consumed to complete such work, etc.
Based on the complaint, the MOHRE may advise your employer to pay you additional salary. However, if your employer continues the practice without paying you additional salary, you may notify the MOHRE of your intention to resign. You may resign without serving a notice period upon completion of 14 days of this notification to the MOHRE. This is in accordance with Article 45(1) of the Employment Law.
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