Deloitte UAE to switch to Monday-Friday working after weekend change

Auditor from January will follow government switch to a Saturday-Sunday weekend

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Accounting agency Deloitte's UAE offices will follow the public sector by switching to a Monday to Friday working week from January, its Middle East boss said.

The company's UAE operation, which employs more than 1,000 people and audits a large number of public sector clients, is the latest to switch to a Saturday-Sunday weekend.

It did not say whether it would adopt the 4.5 day working week that the federal and local government set out in recent days.

But it said the decision was the latest addition to a recently introduced hybrid model that allows employees to split their time between the office and home.

“Our people’s preference to continue to have workplace flexibility is clear," said Deloitte Middle East's Mutasem Dajani.

"Deloitte’s 'HybridWorks' empowers our people to collaborate with their leaders to shape and design their working patterns, while facilitating purposeful workplace presence for moments that matter for team collaboration, training, and client meetings."

Senior officials, including the labour minister, have told The National there will be no announcement or instruction to the private sector regarding a switch to the new weekend, although many companies are considering it.

Schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already said they will open on Monday to Friday, even though hours are yet to be formally set, which is expected to be a major factor for employers.

On Thursday, Sharjah's executive council said its public sector would move to a four-day working week and three-day weekend from January 2020.

January 1 and 2 are now both public holidays nationwide.

Emirati conglomerate latest to adjust working week

Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, a large Emirati-owned private sector employer, will introduce a Monday to Thursday office routine for its employees, with working from home allowed on Fridays.

Easa Al Gurg, its group chief executive. said the "new working schedule encourages staff to have a healthy work-life balance and also supports those with school going children, encouraging family time and interaction".

On the business side, it will "help us further expand our reach... and align with global market movements".

A conglomerate of more than two dozen companies, it employs about 3,800 people and trades in everything from tobacco to heavy industrial goods.

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Updated: December 10, 2021, 11:34 AM