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UAE State Sharjah 4 Day Working Week

Jun 13, 2023

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Since the implementation a 4.5-day workweek in 2022, the UAE (United Arab Emirates) has already seen the echoes of positive outcomes: productivity remains unharmed, and employees express behgreater contentment in their jobs. Sharjah has taken this a step further by adopting a complete 3-day weekend, making it a pioneer in establishing a 4-day workweek through legislation. Despite initial apprehensions among certain employers regarding potential productivity setbacks, the results after one year of implementation showcased the opposite outcome.

This article will provide an overview of what this legislation means for compliance, who will be impacted, and how the WorkForce Software solution can help organisations meet emerging requirements.

  1. About the legislation

On January 1st, 2022, the UAE government decided to change the work week from Sunday to Thursday, to Monday to Friday. This new system was rolled out across all government entities and most firms in the private sector followed suit. The working week shifted to 4.5 days with Friday being a half day. In contrast, Sharjah decided to transition to a 4-day work week with Friday being a full day off for the government and private sector.

  1. Why does this legislation matter?

This legislation matters as it is not only now a 4-day workweek, the new workweek will begin on a Monday rather than the usual Sunday. All people will need to adapt to this new structure. Further, Friday holds great significance across the Muslim world. On this day, all Muslims are obligated to gather at the mosque to participate in congregational prayers and Friday sermon. This tradition holds profound significance and is highly valued among Muslims globally.

  1. Who is impacted by the legislation/Who would care about the legislation?

Everyone living in Sharjah and the UAE is impacted by this legislation as they have all transitioned their workweek to the new 4.5-day structure. The legislation impacts both Private and Public sector as well asthe school system.

  1. What does the impact of a 4-day week look like?

This was a massive change for everyone across the UAE but Sharjah residents as many had to adjust to working 4 days a week whilst still maintaining the same output as working the usual 5 days. The local National newspaper found that its residents said they are healthier and happier, enjoying more weekend flexibility and having more time with their families.

  1. What do industry specific use cases look like?

From an economic standpoint, the directive aimed to better align the country with global markets as well as foster stronger international business connections. However, experts have noted that the change meant some workers were checking on weekends due to the need for constant communication with clients in neighbouring countries.

  1. How does the WorkForce Software solution help?

WorkForce Software enables organizations to navigate potential compliance challenges stemming from the abrupt implementation of government directives by providing robust series of configurable compliance rules and automation. As the standard UAE work week now spans from Monday to Friday, or Monday to Thursday for Sharjah, the WorkForce Software can play a crucial role in facilitating seamless transitions, ensuring that Friday is recognized as a day off rather than an absence. The flexibility to modify daily and weekly working hours serves as a valuable tool for companies, easing their path during this transition period.

  1. What are the challenges/penalties of doing nothing?

Doing nothing is not an option in the UAE. All companies must adapt or risk facing significant fines or operational closure. By law, 4.5 days is the new standard workweek, and all UAE companies must allow for that. For Sharjah, 4 days is the work week, and all have had to comply in a short amount of time. As stated previously, the ROI for this change in Sharjah has been positive for many, if not everyone. The 4.5-day workweek has been hailed a success across UAE territories with many people now seeing an improved work-life balance. Companies need to be equipped with a software solution that can rapidly comply with their organizational needs and with new regulations, especially in this region as the changes are enforced on short notice on many occasions.

Despite initial concerns about productivity, the implementation of a 4-day workweek in the UAE has yielded positive outcomes and significant impacts. The shift has resulted in increased job satisfaction and improved work-life balance for employees. The legislation continues to affect all private and public sector businesses, as well as those in the school system, making it crucial for organizations to adapt and comply with new standards. The WorkForce Software solution plays a vital role in facilitating seamless transitions and ensuring compliance with the new workweek regulations.

Every organisation has its own unique compliance concerns. The WorkForce Suite has you covered for every ever labour law or agreement, so that you can take the complexity out of compliance.

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