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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Some private sector companies extend Eid holidays

Companies grant additional leave to tie into following weekend

People perform Eid  prayers at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
People perform Eid  prayers at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National

Some private sector employers are giving their staff a longer break during the upcoming Eid Al Adha holiday by granting them additional leave to tie into the following weekend.

The official holiday for the private sector begins on Monday, August 20, and ends on Wednesday, August 22, with employees returning to work on Thursday.

But a number of firms are extending that to give their employees more time off.

One person on the Abu Dhabi Q&A Facebook page said their company was giving them Thursday off as a paid holiday, in addition to the Monday to Wednesday break.

“Our group chief executive’s message [was that] holidays are the best time to spend with families so considering this they extended our holiday to make it a long weekend,” he said.

“So Monday to Thursday Eid holidays."

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Kim Rentosa, 30, a technical assistant with Aramoon Pipe Inspection and Rehabilitation, said employees at her company had asked whether they could swap their days to link the holiday to a weekend, and their management agreed.

“We will be working on the 20th and then get Thursday off. It will be a long weekend for us,” said Ms Rentosa, who is taking the opportunity to go back home to the Philippines for a break between August 21 and September 5 by tagging on some additional annual leave.

Hans Pajarillo, 30, a chemist from the Philippines, who has been in the UAE for five years, said he normally works a half day on Thursdays.

“Our company moved our Thursday work to Monday so that we can have a long weekend. Thank you Arab Centre for Engineering Studies,” he wrote, linking to his company’s Facebook page.

But not everyone has been as lucky.

Several people said they have only been granted two days’ leave, despite the labour ministry's announcement that the holiday will be three days-long for private sector employees.

“Tuesday, Wednesday only,” wrote one.

And others were almost given the opportunity to move their days off.

“Initially, the management agreed to make the changes to make it a long weekend for everyone,” said one group member.

“But the very next day after the declaration they changed the days. Now we have to work on Sunday and Thursday. No long weekend for us. But for Muslim employees, we have the option of taking the Thursday off but it will be from the annual leave, of course.”

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