‘Are part-time employees entitled to paid leave on public holidays?’

The UAE labour law outlines specific rules for part-time workers that includes annual leave

All employees, whether full or part-time, directly sponsored or on a spouse’s visa, are protected by the UAE labour law. Getty Images
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I have a part-time job. I am on my husband’s sponsorship, but he signed a letter of no objection. I also have a work permit from my employer.

When it comes to public holidays, the employer expects me to work as usual. A friend said that I should be paid extra, but is that the case for part-time staff?

Does the labour law apply to me and am I entitled to any paid leave? KH, Dubai

New UAE labour laws come into effect

New UAE labour laws come into effect

All employees, whether full-time or part-time, directly sponsored or on a spouse’s visa, are subject to protection by law.

Under the UAE labour law, there is specific mention of part-time working, so there can be no doubt that the law applies.

All employers should specify an employee's pay and leave entitlements in a contract of employment to make it clear to both parties.

“The worker shall be entitled to official days off with full pay on public holidays, which are defined by a resolution of the Cabinet,” according to Article 28 of the labour law.

“If work conditions require that the worker works during any of the public holidays, the employer shall compensate him with another day off for each day on which he works during the holiday, or pay him the wage for that day according to the wage established for the normal working days plus an increase of not less than 50 per cent of the basic wage for that day.”

This applies to both full-time and part-time staff.

Regarding annual leave for part-time employees, this is explained in Article 29 of the implementing regulations, which are an addition to the law.

“The part-time worker shall be entitled to annual leave in accordance with the actual working hours spent by the worker with the employer, and its duration shall be determined on the basis of the total working hours after converting them to working days, divided by the number of working days in a year, multiplied by the legally prescribed leaves, in a minimum of five working days per year for annual leaves,” Article 29 says.

“In the calculation of these due leaves, a part of a day shall be deemed a full day in accordance with the following: 1. The ratio is equal to the ratio of the employee’s work on a part-time contract to the employee’s work on a full-time contract. 2. The actual working hours are eight working hours per day as a maximum. 3. The number of hours the employee works on a part-time contract equals the number of hours that have been contracted. 4. The arithmetic equation is the number of working hours in the part-time contract of the employee per year divided by the number of working hours in the full-time contract per year multiplied by 100 equals the ratio.”

Part-time employees are also entitled to an end-of-service gratuity when they leave employment. This is calculated in the usual way with a pro-rata calculation based on the hours worked compared with full-time employees.

“The number of working hours in the employment contract per year divided by the number of working hours in the full-time contract multiplied by 100 equals the ratio multiplied by the value of the end-of-service benefits of the full-time employment contract,” according to Article 30 of the implementing regulations.

Part-time employees are also entitled to paid sick leave as per the law, as well as maternity leave.

I work for a company in Ajman, but recently the boss told us that he is moving the business as his contacts are based in Dubai.

The company will be relocating to Sharjah and we will need to work there instead.

I don’t mind moving, but residential rents are higher in Sharjah. We are not being offered a higher salary or more commission.

Are staff entitled to a higher pay if the employer shifts its area of operations? RA, Ajman

Generally, an employer cannot change contract terms without the employee’s approval and this would apply to a specified place of work.

Therefore, if an employer moves by a significant distance, they should ensure that employees are not losing out.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation states that an employer can change a workplace “ … provided that the employer bears the financial costs, such as providing housing for the employee and a transportation allowance”.

The first step is to ensure that the employer is aware of the law and if they fail to support employees, a complaint can be registered with the ministry on its website. Alternatively, the ministry can be contacted by telephone on 600 590000 or through its app.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only

Updated: July 17, 2022, 5:00 AM