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Breaks during work hours mandatory under UAE Employment Law

Breaks during work hours mandatory under UAE Employment Law

Article 18 of the UAE Employment Law states that the employee may not work more than five consecutive hours without breaks which shall amount in aggregate to not less than one hour, and such breaks shall not be calculated as part of the working hours.  The working hours and breaks in the institute shall be regulated by shifts depending on their nature - such as on-site positions - and as per the manpower classification specified in the Executive Regulations of this Law.

Based on the above provision of law, it is necessary for an employer to grant breaks to his employees in between the working hours. If the employer does not give breaks of at least one hour in a day or after completion of five consecutive hours of work, then it is a violation of the Employment Law.

If the employer fails to adhere to the law, the employee may file a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) in accordance with Article 54(1) of the Employment Law. Article 54(1) of the law states that in the dispute between the Employer and the Employee, or anyone claiming through them, in connection with any rights arising out of the provisions of this law shall file an application to the Ministry, which examines the application and takes necessary steps to settle the dispute between them amicably. And If there is no amicable settlement, then MOHRE may refer the said matter to the court under Article 54(2) of the Employment Law which gives liberty to the employee to file an employment case against the employer in the court.


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