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25pc more remuneration for extra working hours

Nasser Ahmed Al Osaiba (Compiled by Ahmed Shaaban) / 25 June 2012



Q) I would like to know the basis for calculating overtime. Is it calculated as per the basic salary or full salary? What is the right number of working hours?

A)   According to Article 65 of the UAE Labour Law, the maximum hours of work for adult workers shall be eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. The hours of work may be increased to nine hours a day in commercial establishments, hotels and cafes and in the case of guard duties and any other operations where such increase is authorised by order from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Department. The daily hours of work may be reduced in the case of arduous or unhealthy operations by order of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Department. Hence, the working hours in each job varies according to the nature of the job itself.

Regarding overtime calculation, Articles 67, 68 and 70 of the UAE Labour Law state very clear and simple ways.

Article 67 states that: “Where the circumstances of the work require a worker to work more than the normal number of hours, any period worked in excess shall be treated as overtime, for which the worker shall receive remuneration equal to that corresponding to his normal hours of work, plus a supplement of at least 25 per cent of the remuneration.”

Article 68 states: “Where the circumstances of the work require a worker to work overtime between 9pm and 4am, he shall be entitled in respect of such overtime to the remuneration stipulated for his normal hours of work, plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of the remuneration.

Finally Article 70 states: “Friday shall be the normal weekly rest day for all workers except daily-paid workers. Where the circumstances require a worker to work on this day, he shall be granted another day or receive his basic remuneration for his normal hours of work plus a supplement of at least 50 per cent of the remuneration.”

Labour ban

Q) I was working for a company in Dubai on an unlimited contract. I had an argument with my manager who then terminated me. On approaching the labour ministry, they said I would suffer a one year ban. Will I be able to come on a visit visa or can I come on an investor visa because I want to open my own business?

A)   As per Article 108 of the federal emigration law, the removal of ban is not permitted except by the authority that imposed it. Hence, you have to make sure what the reason for the one year ban is, and if it can be removed before you leave the country. 

Employment offer

Q) May I know the difference between employment offer and contract of employment? I am an expat. Is any document signed in our home country regarding our employment in the UAE considered legal?

A)   According to Article 125 of the Civil Transaction Law, “A contract is a positive binding between an offer made by either contracting party and an acceptance by another, and their mutual agreement in a manner that produces its effect on the contracted subject; and as a result, each party shall observe its obligation towards the other.”

Hence, the contract creates obligations and rights on its parties. However, the offer letter does not create any obligations or rights. Nonetheless, an offer letter may contain time limits to accept its content which becomes an obligation and right if it was accepted. In such instances, the acceptance of an offer letter changes it to a contract.

On the other hand, if an expatriate signed a document in his home country and the contents of this document do not conflict with the laws and regulations here, then it is valid and considered as legal.

Husband’s visa

Q) I have been working with a company for eight months. Now I have a better job offer. I am on my husband’s visa. Will I be liable to a labour ban?

A)   As your husband is your sponsor, no one else can plea to ban you. You are also exempted from the time limit that is required to be spent with the employer. 

Limited contract

Q) An employee joined my company six months ago, and we paid all the visa expenses. Six months later, he started looking for work in another company. All the money we spent to get the visa is now wasted. Ours is a good company, and we pay our employees on time.  Can we keep a small deposit each month, which can be returned at the expiry of the employment visa in two years?  How does the law protect us?

A)   Your problem is common. However, it is not legal to hold part of the salary unless in very limited situations defined by the law. And yours is not one of them.

The law has given you a legal way to protect yourself  and this is by establishing a limited employment contract. In such cases, the employee has to stay with you for the agreed upon period. Should he resign before that, he will be liable to compensate you by paying an amount equivalent to his salary for the remaining working period in the contract. However, this payment should not be more than three months’ salary and can be imposed only through a court order.


Nasser Ahmed Al Osaiba is an Emirati Partner and Lawyer at Global Advocates and Legal Consultants, a legal member at the Rent Dispute Committee, Umm Al Quwain, and has a Master’s Degree in commercial law from Melbourne University, Australia. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, Dubai PO Box 11243.

 
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