x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Can non-Muslims work shorter hours during Ramadan?

On your side: Are non-Muslims also covered by the two-hour reduction in normal working hours? The National's resident advocate Keren Bobker has the answer.

My employer has always followed a "reduced working hours during Ramadan" policy since it was set up six years ago. A few months ago the company employed a new manager for our office who stated that the non-fasting employees must now work regular hours and only the Muslim staff can leave two or three hours earlier. As you might imagine, this has not gone down well with staff who do not get paid any extra for additional working hours. What rights do we have as the situation seems unfair? MR, Dubai

It is clearly stated in Article 65 of UAE Labour Law that "during the month of Ramadan, normal working hours shall be reduced by two hours" and it is clear that this applies to all employees. As the company is breaking the law by not offering shorter working hours to everyone, you should report it to the Ministry of Labour. Each year the ministry issues a statement reminding employers of this rule and it is quite possible that companies who do not comply will be fined. The Ministry of Labour's helpline number is 800 665.


Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com


@ For our archive of articles by Keren Bobker, please go to thenational.ae/topics and select "On Your Side"