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Compensatory Leave and Pay for Working on Public Holidays in Dubai

Working in Dubai's private sector comes with various benefits and constraints, particularly when it comes to public holidays.

Working in Dubai’s private sector has certain entitlements and limitations, especially regarding public holidays. Recently, the UAE declared December 2, 3, and 4 as paid holidays. 

However, some employees might be asked to work during these days. This article aims to shed light on the legal aspects of compensatory leave and pay for those working on public holidays in Dubai, focusing on the regulations outlined in Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021.

Applicability of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021:

Assuming you work for a mainland company in Dubai, the relevant legal framework is Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations.

As per Article 28(1) of the Employment Law, employees are entitled to official breaks with full pay on public holidays determined by the Cabinet or the relevant local authority.

Compensatory Leave or Pay for Working on Public Holidays:

Article 28(2) of the Employment Law outlines the compensatory provisions for employees working on public holidays. 

Employees who work during public holidays are eligible for compensatory leave or salary, along with a supplement of at least 50% of their basic salary as additional pay.

Specific Scenario – UAE National Day:

In the context of the recently announced paid holidays on December 2, 3, and 4 (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) as part of the UAE National Day celebrations, the law stipulates that if an employer requires an employee to work during these public holidays, the employee is entitled to either:

  • Three days of compensatory leave for each day worked.
  • Salary for regular working days plus a supplement of at least 50% of the basic salary for each day worked.
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