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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

'How should I be compensated for working on a UAE public holiday?'

The Abu Dhabi nurse says her shift rota sometimes falls on a day when most UAE workers are off

The nurse works 12-hour shifts, which sometimes fall on a public holiday. 
The nurse works 12-hour shifts, which sometimes fall on a public holiday. 

I am a nurse in a private hospital and we work 12-hour shifts with four days on and then three days off in a week. Our off days are rotational and not fixed, so it changes every week. When a public holiday is declared, sometimes we are scheduled to work to cover the required manpower. If there is at least one public holiday in a month, what would be my normal working hours per month to comply and how should I be compensated? My previous company pays public holiday pay while my new company gives me one more day of leave. MP, Abu Dhabi

How an employee should be paid for working on the official UAE public holidays is set out clearly in the Labour Law. When someone has a shift job, like a nurse, it is normal to be asked to work on these days if they fall into the work schedule but the law clarifies how someone should be compensated. Article 74 of Labour Law states that a “worker shall be entitled to an official leave with full payment” on the official holidays but also makes provision where this is not possible.

Article 81 states: “Should the work circumstances require that the worker work during holidays or leaves for which a complete or partial payment is paid thereto, the worker shall be granted a substitute leave as well as an increase in the wage amounting to 50 per cent thereof. Should he not be granted a substitute leave, the employer shall pay to the worker an additional sum to the basic salary thereof amounting to 150 per cent with regards to the days of work.” To clarify this means that if an employee works during one of the official UAE public holidays they are entitled to have a day off in lieu plus 50 per cent of their salary, or if they do not have a day off in lieu they need to be paid for an extra day at a rate of 150 per cent of their salary. The standard working hours do not change and the total stated by MP appears to fit the legal requirements.

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I applied for a loan two weeks ago, but when I called the branch they said it had been rejected and they would let me know why. However, they never got back to me. Eventually, I visited the branch and asked them why. The person I spoke to said she didn’t know and that their head office does not state the reason for the rejection. Then I called the bank’s customer service department and he said the bank has the right to refuse but they have to give the reason for refusal. I feel something is not right. Even when the bank contacted me for verification, they asked me if I had another loan, which I do not. They then said there was a debt for Dh12,000, which I said was not mine. What can I do? SN, Dubai

If a bank declines a loan application it is not obliged to disclose the reason why although some may do so in certain cases, or if it considers it something relatively minor that can be corrected. A customer has no right to an explanation although I do think it could be helpful to know the reason in many cases.

A major factor in considering a loan is a person’s credit rating with the Al Etihad Credit Bureau. They have records of any liabilities; every resident has a credit score based on this as well as a variety of other factors. The higher the credit score the better. If a person has a record of late or missing payments, this will affect their score. This applies not just to liabilities with banks as late payments to UAE telecom providers also count.

In this case, I would expect the bank would have seen a liability of some kind in SN’s name when they checked his credit score. If he believes this to be incorrect, he can request information from the AECB himself. He will need to visit one of their offices; in Dubai it is located in Rolex Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, with his current Emirates ID card and a passport copy. The cost for obtaining just the credit score is Dh105, or for a credit score with a report it is Dh152.25. A credit report is a more useful document as this shows all credit cards, loans and any other credit facilities as well as a payment record and any bounced cheques. If SN believes any of the information in the report to be incorrect, he can then go back to the provider of that information to get it corrected. More details can be found on at www.aecb.gov.ae

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 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