December 13, 2021



| Your comment matters, please click here to rate article!

The United Arab Emirates recently introduced the Federal Decree-Law no. 33 of 2021 on the ‘regulations of labour relations’, which came into effect on 2nd February 2022 (“new labour code”).

The new labour code aims to bring about more efficiency in the labour functions in the UAE. The rules have been specially formulated to strike a balance between attracting and retaining the best talents and skills, as well as providing an attractive business environment for employers. Thus, empowering both parties and ensuring heightened participation in pursuing the national development goals.

The UAE also recently announced that all the UAE federal government entities would have a four-and-a-half work week, starting from Monday to Friday, with Fridays being half days. The changes are, however, applicable only to the federal or government staff, and private employers are not obliged to follow them.

However, schools and banking institutions are going ahead to adapt to the new changes. It is therefore expected that many private sector companies will follow suit and adapt to similar timing or might provide more flexible working options, including a work-from-home routine on certain days.

Mandatory Rules Concerning Work Hours:

Article 17 of the new code states the mandatory rules that are to be legally followed by employers, and these include:

Article 17:

  • The maximum ordinary working hours shall be (8) eight working hours a day or (48) forty-eight working hours a week. The periods spent by the Worker from the place of residence to the Workspace shall not be calculated within the working hours, except for certain categories of workers according to the controls set by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.

  • The Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law shall determine the working hours in the holy month of Ramadan.

  • If the Worker is not a Full-time Worker, the original Employer or any other Employer employing the Worker under the Provisions of this Decree-Law may not require the Worker to work for him more than the hours agreed upon in the Employment Contract, unless with his written consent.

 Increased Flexibility:

Article 17 (6) allows for a flexible working plan to be instituted for the employee based on the mutual consensus between the employer and the employee.

This is not a mandatory provision and depends on the Employer’s discretion to allow it or not. Article 17 (6) states, ”If the Worker wants to perform Work remotely, whether inside or outside the UAE and with the consent of the Employer, the Employer may stipulate specific working hours”.

The goals have been instituted to enhance the flexibility and sustainability of the UAE’s labour market by ensuring the protection of the parties to, development of, and exception circumstances encountered by, the working relationship that would have an impact thereon.

The new law thus endeavours to strike the right balance between the rights and obligations of both the Employer and the employees.

Related Links

Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.


No comments found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know more?
Then talk to us.

Client Testimonials

I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.

Raphael Lauria
Manager, FME General Trading

Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.

Zhuo Liu

...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...

H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin
Mohammed Hashir Al Maktoum

I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.

Luis Pozueco

Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.

Bassam Yamout
Director, JM Metal Trading LCC

He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.

Philippe Delbecq

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.

British Client

Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.

Asma Mattar
Manager, Italian Style

Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.

Dr. Massimo Hakim
Chairman, Italian Style

I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.

Manish Gupta
Marketing Manager, Express Digital System

Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.

James Horsley
British Client

Select your Language:


Main Menu