New UAE weekend: Private sector companies can decide whether to make a change
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New UAE weekend: Private sector companies can decide whether to make a change

New UAE weekend: Private sector companies can decide whether to make a change

The UAE on Tuesday announced a new four-and-a-half-day working week for federal government entities

Private sector companies in the UAE can decide whether or not they want to adopt the new weekend policy announced by the country for government employees.

The UAE on Tuesday announced a new four-and-a-half-day working week for federal government entities effective from January 1, 2022.

The new working week will run from Monday until Thursday, 7.30am to 3.30pm, and on Friday from 7.30am to 12pm. Saturday and Sunday will be observed as the weekend, in line with the common international standard.

Read: UAE switches weekend, announces four-and-a-half-day working week

Abdulrahman Al Awar, the UAE’s Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, told local media that private-sector employers will have the flexibility to choose whether to make a switch.

“The private sector is not obliged to follow the same system. Private companies and businesses are governed by the new labour law, which grants them that flexibility,” he told Khaleej Times.

“The [new labour] law has not specified the day off, enabling employers and employees to reach an agreement in accordance with the work contract.”

However, he stressed that the new working week is better aligned with international financial markets.

“It enables the private sector to carry out uninterrupted business transactions with companies based abroad,” he said, adding, “it also supports the interests of investors and entrepreneurs and boosts the employee productivity and performance across various economic sectors.”

Overall, the new decision will allow the UAE economy to be more competitive.

“Private sector companies are smart and they have been operating in a very competitive market … they will make their decision based on what they feel will improve their position,” Al Awar told The National.

“It will eliminate the weekend gap – and it was much longer gap in the past. It will allow more business and exchange of trade with the world economy.”

Also read: Private schools across Dubai to follow new working week

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