UAE Labour Law: Mandatory breaks for employees during work hours

The UAE has been known as a place that welcomes foreign employees that want to thrive in the country. For this reason, the UAE authority has established a set of regulations to ensure workers can accomplish their tasks effectively; especially during their UAE break during work hours. Moreover, it also has standards that safeguard the safety and well-being of employees.

In this article, you are going to learn about the new provisions in the Labour Law regarding the UAE break during work hours. Employees need to have breaks that allow them to relax and continue working without incurring excess that could later lead to burnout. Let us observe:

  1. What are the UAE breaks during work hours for employees?
  2. What does the Labour law say about the UAE break during work hours?
  3. How can an employee complain if the employer refuses?
  4. Is it a mandatory requirement for employers to give breaks to employees?
  5. What are the other key provisions concerning working hours?
  6. Frequently asked questions about mandatory breaks in the UAE
  7. How can The Talent Point help you find a job in the UAE?

What are the UAE breaks during work hours for employees?

UAE break during work hours

The UAE is currently modifying the laws and regulations that govern employment. For this reason, both employers and employees have to be always up-to-date with the changes so they can know their rights and duties.

In addition, the UAE Government takes very seriously controlling private employment. This is because many employers violate the law and take advantage of foreign employees coming to the country for a better quality of life.

In this regard, the authority has introduced new changes to employment law. Although there are several modifications, there is one that has been gaining more attention in the past few days. That is the mandatory UAE break during work hours for employees.

Employment rules about breaks for employees

Employment law around the world is very different from one country to another. But, regardless of where you work, you must have a work schedule and follow the working hours established by the regulations.

For example, in some countries, if you work full-time, your workday will consist of 8 working hours. In other countries, it may be more or fewer hours. But, there is one important factor that must be in-between working hours: the break.

Employees can use the break for anything they want. They can use it for having lunch, resting, or any other activity they would like to do.

Therefore, when we refer to a break for employees during work, we are talking about a period in which employees are not working. The break may be of an hour, an hour and a half, etc. It all depends on the company’s policies regarding how much break time employees are entitled to.

However, according to the UAE Labour Law, it is mandatory to provide a UAE break during work hours to employees. Employers that do not follow this guideline may face legal repercussions.

Mandatory breaks under UAE employment law

According to Article 18 of the Employment Law, the employee cannot work more than five hours consecutively without having a break. The break can be one or more, as long as the sum is not less than one hour.

The breaks cannot be calculated as part of the working hours. This is also very important, and employers should follow what the law states regarding this matter.

Therefore, an employee cannot work more than five hours in a day without taking a break. It is considered a violation of the law if the employer forces employees to work for more than five hours without providing a break.

Thus, the proper way is for employers to provide the UAE break during work hours for their workforce. As an employee, you must know this, and you cannot agree to work more than that time without taking a break.

What does the Labour Law say about the UAE break during work hours?

Every employer in the UAE should follow the provisions stated in the Labor Law. For this reason, companies need to have a solid HR and legal department that is always up-to-date with any changes the Authority makes to the law.

Similarly, job seekers should also learn about the employment law in the UAE so they know what to expect when they find a job.

So, if you are seeking a job in the UAE, you need to know about the working hours. Generally, in the private sector, employees have to work 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week.

In this regard, if you know that you have to work for 8 hours, you deserve to have a break between those hours.

In the UAE, working hours and breaks are usually divided into shifts, or any other category depending on the position. Thus, the breaks and working hours may be any of the following:

  • If you work five consecutive hours, your break can be after those five hours, and then continue working for the remaining three hours of your shift.
  • You can have more breaks if you work more than five consecutive hours, but the breaks shall amount in the aggregate to an hour at a minimum.

How can an employee complain if the employer refuses?

In the case your employer refuses to give one or more breaks to its employees, you have the right to demand it.

Let us observe in which situations you can complain:

  • If the employer does not provide a break or breaks of at least one hour during the workday.
  • If after completing five hours of consecutive work you do not receive a break

In case you are facing any of these events, where your employer is not complying with this mandatory requirement, you can complain.

Employers that do not give the UAE break during work hours to their employees are incurring a violation of the employment law.

What can you do?

You have some options when it comes to requesting your mandatory break during work. Here we have the steps you can take to solve this issue:

  • Approach the employer: the best way to solve this situation is by reaching out to your employer and requesting a break according to the stipulations of the Employment Law.
  • File a complaint: if you already have approached your employer, but you still do not have the mandatory break during your workday, then you need to take the next step. You will have to file a complaint with the MoHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation).
  • Court: once you have submitted the complaint, the MoHRE will take action so you and the employer can reach an amicable settlement. In case this does not happen, then the case will be sent to the court. In this regard, you will have to submit an employment case.

Taking all of these steps may seem challenging. Particularly, if you are a foreigner that is looking for having a high quality of life in the UAE. But you have nothing to worry about. The Employment Law clearly states in Article 54(1) and Article 54(2) that you are in your right of taking these actions.

The best part is that in case you need more advice on the matter, you can contact MoHRE. It will help you solve your case and obtain your deserved breaks.

Is it a mandatory requirement for employers to give breaks to employees?

UAE break during work hours

Many employees wonder if they are entitled to a break during the workday. The truth is, the UAE break during work hours is mandatory. So, employers are obliged to provide this to their workforce.

However, these new regulations are valid as long as you are an employee of a UAE company working in the private sector. This is because the UAE Employment Law applies only to these types of employees.

As an employee, you are in your right to have a break during work. Whether it is a break of an hour or several breaks that are added together (one hour in total). This is under Article 18 of the Employment Law.

What are the other key provisions concerning working hours?

In addition to knowing about mandatory breaks, it is also important to learn about working hours. The Employment Law has some key provisions that both employees and employers have to know:

  • Normal working hours in the UAE are 8 hours per day or 48 in a week.
  • Daily working hours may be more than 8 or less than 8 depending on the category of the worker.
  • Commuting time is not included in the working hours (except for some categories of workers).
  • Remote workers should also have specific working hours.

Regardless of the category of the worker, or the type of worker, they all have to have a mandatory break of one hour per day if they work full-time. And, if the employee works five consecutive hours, the next hour should be the break. Otherwise, the employer is incurring a serious violation of the law.

Frequently asked questions about mandatory breaks in the UAE

Although understanding the mandatory UAE break during work hours may be quite simple, there may still be some doubts about it. For this reason, here we have some of the frequently asked questions about this matter:

Do the UAE mandate breaks for employees during work?

The UAE recently introduced new changes to the UAE Employment Law. One of those is the fact that now the UAE break during work hours is mandatory. If you are an employee in the private sector, you deserve to have a break between your working hours.

How long should the break be during work?

The break can be of one hour if you work more than five consecutive hours. However, the employer also has the option to provide several breaks during the day, but all of them have to be one hour in total.

How can I complain if I do not receive my break during work?

First of all, you have to approach your employer and request your break. If you work full-time you must have your break during the day since it is your right as an employee.

If the employer refuses to acknowledge this, you can file a complaint with the MoHRE. You have nothing to worry about since they will take care of everything. If after taking that action, your employer still refuses, then you have to take the next step.

The MoHRE will refer the matter to the court. You will have to file an employment case against your employer. After that, the employer should start implementing breaks for its workforce.

Are all jobs entitled to a break?

Regardless of your job position, you deserve to have a break in between your working hours. As long as you are a private sector employee, you can enjoy this benefit. So, whether you work as an architect, or marketing specialist, or in any other position, you can have a break in your work.

Are breaks part of the working hours?

UAE break during work hours is not part of working hours. This means that if you start working at 8 a.m., for example, you can have your break from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and then continue working to 5 p.m.

How can The Talent Point help you find a job in the UAE?

On The Talent Point, we want to help employers and employees find each other. For this reason, we have developed an outstanding marketplace platform where you can look for an excellent position and start growing in your career.

You can use all the functionalities of our website to find the perfect job. Filter according to your needs, whether you need a part-time or a full-time job, or based on your industry. By registering and uploading your CV, you can start applying. You are a click away from connecting with the perfect potential employer that is looking for talent like yours.

Are you interested in learning more about The Talent Point? Call us at +917 43 316 688 and one of our representatives will gladly explain everything you need to know. If you prefer, you can send us an email at contact@thetalentpoint.com.

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