4.5-day work week for UAE government departments

The move is aimed at helping employees enjoy better work-life balance

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The United Arab Emirates government announced on social media that it “will transition to a four and a half day working week”. That means, employees’ weekend will begin on Friday afternoon giving them a two and a half-day weekend to rest, relax and rejuvenate.

Presently, the weekend for government employees begins on Thursday night and ends on Saturday night. Sunday is a working day, while Friday and Saturday are off.

The tweet said that “all federal government departments will move to the new weekend from January 1, 2022”.

This two and a half-day weekend can be enjoyed by all employees of the government sector, including schools and universities.

With enough time to rest, starting Friday afternoon, up until Sunday night, it is hoped that this new weekend will improve productivity and work-life balance.

Employees will henceforth work from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for four days, that is, Monday to Thursday, and from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday.

Whether the private sector will also follow this new workweek is yet not clear as no such announcement has been made.

Many countries are considering implementing a shorter work week. A recent survey in the US has revealed that the majority, about 95.4 per cent of the respondents, are in favour of a four-day workweek. About 90 per cent believe that a five-day workweek is outdated and 97 per cent believe that a four-day week will make them more productive.

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