Working hours and Overtime as per UAE Law

UAE Labour Law governs working hours in the UAE. In the UAE, overtime pay is computed using the base salary. Several positions frequently demand an employee to put in extra time, whether a person is eligible for overtime pay or not.

It always relies on the employee’s position and the working schedule the organization has established. Each Employee should know the typical working hours and the number of overtime requests.

The overtime provision will not be applicable to the following positions:

  • Senior Positions;
  • Administrative Supervisory Roles;
  • Crews of naval ships and Marine employees.

Important Laws governing working hours in the UAE

According to the Labour Law, these are some of the key rules that all employees and employers must comply with:

  • Employees must work 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week unless they work in a trade, hotel, or security guard. In those cases, it is possible to increase their working hours to a maximum of 9 hours a day.
  • The time that employees spend commuting from their places of residence to their workplaces will not be considered overtime. And the law does not consider their 1-hour break as overtime either.
  • As we previously mentioned, the official working hours are 8 hours per day. But during Ramadan, employees only work 6 hours a day at most.
  • Employers cannot force their employees to work overtime. And employees should not work more than the hours that they agreed upon in the employment contract. However, they can work beyond their schedule if they agree to do so in writing.
  • In case an employee requests to perform their work remotely, the employer must specify their working hours.
  • If an employee works 5 consecutive hours, he/she has the right to have one or more breaks. And these breaks must be at least 1 hour. Nonetheless, breaks will not be calculated within the working hours.

Important Laws governing working overtime in the UAE

  • Employers may ask their employees to work overtime, but the number of extra hours must not exceed 2 hours per day.
  • In case the nature of the work requires employees to work beyond their official schedule, they must receive compensation. More precisely, they will be entitled to a payment equal to normal working hours’ remuneration plus 25% of that pay. In some cases, this number could increase to 50% if the employees work overtime between 10 pm and 4 am. However, keep in mind that this rule does not apply to employees who work on a shift basis.
  • And in case the employer requires an employee to work on their day off, the employer must provide a substitute rest day. If the employee does not get a substitute rest day, he/she must receive a payment equal to normal working hours’ remuneration plus 50% of that pay.

How to Calculate Overtime?

Computation of Normal Overtime:

  • If the nature of the job requires overtime, the employees shall be paid overtime and the payment shall be equivalent to the wage paid for the ordinary working hours plus and increase of not less than 25% of his wage for the overtime period.


  1. Basic Salary X 12/365= per day salary
  2. Per day Salary/8=Per hour salary
  3. Overtime amount is =Number of overtime hours X Per hour salary X 1.25
  • However, if the employee’s overtime fall between the hours  9.00 PM to 4.00 AM the employee will be entitled to an overtime equivalent to the normal working hours plus an increase of not less than 50% of his wage for the overtime  period.

Computation of Friday Overtime:

  • If the circumstances require the employee to work on a Friday, he must be granted either another day off (compensatory off) or receive his basic salary plus an additional 50 % of his remuneration (i.e, basic salary plus allowances). However, employee cannot be asked to work more than two consecutive Friday unless they are employed on a daily wage basis.


  1. Basic Salary X 12/365= per day salary
  2. Per day Salary/8=Per hour salary
  3. Overtime amount is =No of overtime hours X Per hour salary X 1.5 or An additional day off.

Computation of overtime during Public holiday:

As per the Article 81 of UAE Labour Law, where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for  a worker to work on public holidays or rest day in respect of which he/she is entitled to full or partial pay, he shall be granted compensatory leave in respect of such days, together with a bonus equal to 50 per cent of his remuneration. If he is not compensated for such days by leave, his employer shall pay him a bonus equal to 150 percent of his basic remuneration in respect of the days worked.


  1. Basic Salary X 12/365= per day salary
  2. Per day Salary/8=per hour salary
  3. Overtime= Number of overtime hours X Per hour salary X 1.5 in addition to one day compensatory off
  • 100 percent of normal daily remuneration basic salary plus allowances plus 150 per cent of basic salary.