UAE Labour Law

Leaves and Your Rights

Work hard and achieve your beautiful dreams: yet, don’t you need a break and relaxing time? As much as the employees work for the company, they are also entitled to days off from the job for various reasons.

The United Arab Emirates has precisely defined the rights, duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of both employer and employee in the “Labour Law.” With the latest amendments, the UAE Labour Law is one of the crystal-clear laws of the land.

Part IV – Chapter 1 (Article 65-73) & Chapter 2 (Article 74-90) elaborately spoke about Hours of Work and Leave, but it was amended in 2021 by the issuance of new law Federal Decree-Law No. (33) Of 2021. According to the recent amendment, the details of various leaves in the UAE are mentioned below.

Official Holidays (Article 28)

All employees working in the UAE are entitled to fully paid public holidays. In some particular jobs or situations, if the employee has to work, they must be compensated with full pay plus a supplement of 50% of the basic wage.

Annual Leave (Article 29)

Every employee is entitled to get annual paid leave as follows:

  • At least 30 days a year for each year of service.
  • At least 2 days leave every month if service is 6-12 months.
  • In the event of the end of his service, if the employee has not used his annual leave balance, they can get leaves for the fractions of the last year of service.
  • A part-time worker is also entitled to annual leave. However, it depends on the actual working hours the employee spends in the employer’s service. The employment contract determines the period as specified by the Decree-law’s Executive Regulations.
  • The employers may agree to grant the employees leave from their annual leave balance during the Probationary Period. The employee must be compensated for the outstanding annual leave balance, even if the probationary period is not successfully completed.
  • Both employer and employee can fix the dates of leave according to the work requirements for smooth work progress. The employee must notify the employee of the date of his leave at least 1 month before the same.
  • An employee can carry the annual leave balance to the following year, provided the employer gives consent.
  • The employee is entitled to get paid for the period of annual leave.
  • Days off prescribed by law or agreement must be considered part of the annual leave if they fall within the annual leave dates. However, the employer can offer additional leaves to their employees.
  • Unless an employee requests to carry over or be paid in place of leave, the employer may not discourage employees from using earned annual leave for more than two years.
  • Employees can be paid for unused leaves if they leave the company, regardless of the length of period for which they have not used leaves. The payment is computed using the employee’s base salary and the fractions of the year that correspond to the employee’s service time.

Maternity Leave (Article 30)

A pregnant female employee is entitled to 60 days of leave; the first 45 days are full pay, and 15 days are half-pay. The female employee can extend her leave without pay provided she, or her child suffers from an illness caused by pregnancy or delivery. However, these days are not counted in the period of service. In case of a stillborn child or child’s death after birth, the mother is still entitled to receive the leaves mentioned above.

There are some other leaves in special conditions:

  • A female giving birth to a child with special needs (People of Determination) can apply for additional 30 days of leave apart from the existing 60 days. However, a licensed medical authority must provide a medical certificate and mentions that the child requires a continuous escort.
  • One can also request an extension for additional 30 days.
  • The female employee does not lose the right to other leaves because of maternity leave. Moreover, the female can’t be terminated during this period.

Sick Leave (Article 31)

In the UAE, all employees who have completed their probationary period are entitled to receive 90 days of sick leave. The first 15 days of the leave are fully paid, the next 30 days are with half-pay, and the remaining are without pay. Below are the conditions for obtaining sick leave in the UAE:

  • Any employee who gets sick or injured must report the illness to the employer or their representatives within 3 days. Moreover, the employees must submit a medical report stating their illness.
  • You are not eligible for sick leave during the probationary period. However, the employer may grant you unpaid sick leave provided you submit a medical report.
  • If the employee falls sick or gets injured due to misconduct, no pay for sick leave is given.
  • The employer may terminate an employee if they cannot resume after the illness.

Other Leaves (Article 32)

There are some more leaves that employees are entitled to, as mentioned below:

  • Bereavement Leave: 5 days leave on the death of the spouse and 3 days for the death of a parent, sibling, child, grandchildren, or grandparent.
  • Paternity Leave: an employee (father or mother) can take 5 days of paternal leave, either together or consecutively.
  • Education leaves: You can take 10 days of leave to appear in the examination, provided you have completed two years in the organization.
  • Sabbatical Leave: Emirati national workers can apply for paid sabbatical leave for national reserve services or while pursuing the legislation in force in the UAE.

Unpaid Leaves (Article 33)

Other than the leaves mentioned above, the employee can take additional leaves with the employer’s consent; these leaves will be unpaid. The unpaid leaves are not calculated in your service, and you do not get any benefit for those.

Failing to report to work after leave (Article 34)

If an employee fails to report to work after completing the leave without a good cause will not get wages throughout that period.

Termination during leave (Article 35)

If either party wants to terminate the contract during the period of leave, the following conditions apply.

  • The notice period agreed in the contract begins from the day the employee resumes work.
  • Both parties can mutually agree to terminate the job contract without servicing the notice period.

All these provisions have their exclusions as per the rules and approval of The Ministry of Labour (MOL), subject to the nature of the job. For any assistance related to Labour Law, please fill out our online contact form, call us, or book an online consultation with our labour lawyers in Dubai and other emirates.

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