Seventy percent of federal government employees are expected to be in offices under the UAE’s new Friday work rules.
The government’s Federal Human Resources Authority set out personnel protocols on the eve of the country’s first Friday working day in a circular.
The UAE government moved to a Monday-Friday working week earlier this year.
Friday will be a half day for federal employees, who will work from 7:30 a.m. to noon.
Departments should coordinate with the authority to determine which employees and job titles are eligible for remote work.
In partnership with FAHR, the employee’s line manager must issue a remote work permit.
The authority said at least 70% of employees were needed at the headquarters to “ensure the continuity of the provision of public services”, Wam reported.
The statement further said that priority for the assignment of remote work will be given to those who live farthest from their place of work, while the decision will also take into consideration “any other humanitarian situations of employees”.
The shift to a new working week was made to “better align the Emirates with global markets, reflecting the country’s strategic status on the global economic map”, the UAE government media office said.
The new long weekend will “boost productivity and improve work-life balance”.
Public and private schools have also moved to a new Monday-Friday model.
Friday prayers across the UAE will begin at 1:15 p.m. to accommodate the new working week. As a general rule, Friday prayers begin at dhuhr – between noon and 12:30 p.m. – depending on the season.
To allow government employees to attend Friday prayers at a mosque, the time for the dhuhr prayer has been brought forward by about an hour, with the sermon beginning at 1:15 p.m. Friday prayers are conducted with the sermon in the mosque, followed by Jumaa prayers.
Friday prayers are considered the most important of the week and Muslims are encouraged to pray in a group in a mosque.
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Updated: January 6, 2022, 10:34 a.m.