This is the second post of a monthly series featuring labour and employment related issues in Yemen. The series will provide a comprehensive review of most employment-related issues including statutory and contractual issues, remuneration and working hours, statutory leave entitlements, and termination and gratuity. 

2.         Remuneration and working hours

The minimum wage payable to employees of the private sector in Yemen cannot be less than the minimum wage paid by the state administration. Under the Labour Law No 5 of 1995, as amended (the “Law”), wage payments depend on the terms of the employment contract. Employees may be paid on a monthly, fortnight, weekly, or hourly basis.

According to the Law, employees remunerated on:

  • monthly basis must be paid not later than the sixth day of the following month;
  • fortnightly basis must be paid not later than the third day at the end of every fortnight; or
  • hourly, daily, or weekly basis must be paid at least once each week.

Working hours cannot exceed eight hours per day or 48 hours per week and weekly hours of work must be distributed over six working days followed by one day of rest (with full pay). In addition, the maximum working hours must further be reduced during the month of Ramadan, when official working hours cannot exceed six hours per day or 36 hours per week. The Law also states that an employee's working day must be broken by at least one period of rest, being a minimum of one hour to ensure that any continuous period of work does not exceed five hours. Friday, shall be the day of weekly rest; however this day may be exchanged for another day of the week, if required for work purposes.

In practice, most entities work 40 hours a week distributed over 5 days.

Overtime worked by employees is calculated as follows:

  • 1.5 hours of basic wages per hour of overtime on normal working days;
  • 2 hours of basic wages per hour of overtime at night, on the weekend (i.e. Friday) and on official holidays and leave (in addition to the entitlement to receive the standard wage for such holidays). Night work constitutes any work performed between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am.

The next post will discuss different statutory types of leaves enshrined under the relevant labour law.