It is that time of the year again – a time of fasting, reflection, prayer and community for Muslims all around the world.
In the Middle East, fasting Muslim employees have the added benefit of being able to observe the Holy Month of Ramadan in an environment where their needs are met not just from a social perspective, but also from a legal one by way of reduced working hours.
In the United Arab Emirates, there are three jurisdictions’ laws to take into consideration when assessing how Ramadan would affect your employees’, fasting and non-fasting working environment and we will discuss these here:
Historically, all employees, whether they were fasting or not fasting, Muslim or Non-Muslim, were entitled to reduced working hours during Ramadan (colloquially referred to as “Ramadan Hours”).
There was a bit of uncertainty in the market about how Ramadan Hours would work this year considering the New Labour Law effectively left the position unclear by stating that the working hours during Ramadan will be determined by the Executive Regulations. Speculation was rife and in particular it was expected that Ramadan Hours will only be available to fasting Muslim employees (similar to the DIFC and ADGM).
However, the Executive Regulations, once it was promulgated, provides that regular working hours shall be reduced by two hours per day and does not differentiate between fasting and non-fasting employees.
Therefore, employers outside of the DIFC and ADGM are obliged to comply with the law by giving their employees two hours less per day.
Continue Reading The Ramadan Roundup