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Middle East – Working hours cut for Ramadan

11 July 2013

Some companies in the Middle East that have been struggling with the summer working legislation limiting the number of hours some employees are able to work in hot conditions. They are now also faced with restrictions as a result of Ramadan.

“The law says that you should work two hours less,” said Marize Coestzer, from international law firm Taylor Wessing. “The only place where it would not be applicable is within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) because they have a separate law and the DIFC law says Ramadan hours do not apply for non-fasting employees.”

If a company is found to not be adhering to Ramadan hours the authorities may impose penalties, the sum of which is decided on a case-by-case basis. The longer fasting period this year has complicated staffing matters with Muslims having to fast between 3.30am and 7.30pm. Ramadan began on the 9 July and will run throughout the summer to the 7 August.    

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