With the upcoming festival of Eid Al-Adha, employers in the region need to be mindful of the requirements around holidays, whilst also managing employee expectations and balancing the needs of the business. This article provides guidance for private sector employers in the GCC on frequently asked questions in relation to the upcoming Eid holiday and other public holidays.
The official Eid dates are scheduled according to the Islamic calendar, meaning their exact dates may not be known until they are announced (often at short notice) by the respective authorities. Generally, employees in the public sector are entitled to more generous holidays than the private sector.
Actions for employers
In order to manage employee expectations, particularly given that the exact dates of the Islamic holidays in GCC can change at short notice then we recommend that employers:
- Implement leave policies which clearly set out official holiday entitlements together with clear guidance on which holidays are subject to change and overtime requirements if employees are required to work on such holidays
- Consider in advance whether time off in lieu will be offered to employees if a public holiday falls on the weekend (where this is not already required by law)
- Consider whether any additional holidays will be offered such as Christmas day, Gregorian New Year's day (in countries where this is not an official holiday)
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