I am trying to provide the understand of the UAE labor law as it applies to Private Sector Employees. I would quote the exact transcript of the law and try and explain where ever necessary the details in length. I am not a law student hence don’t look at it as final you may check with a legal expert if you so desire.
Leave Entitlements :
Each employee is entitled to an official leave with full pay on the following occasions:
– Hijra New Year. One day
– Christian New Year. One day
– Eid Al Fitr Two days
– Eid Al Adha and Waqfa day Three days
– Birthday of the Prophet One day
– Ascension Day One day
– National Day One day
The employee must be granted an annual leave during each year of service which may not be less than:
1. Two days per month in respect of any employee with more than six months and less than one year of service.
2. Thirty days per annum in respect of any employee whose period of service exceeds on year. In the event of termination of an employee’s service he shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year of service.
The employer may at his discretion determine the date for commencement of annual leaves and, when necessary, he may decide to divide the leave in two parts at the most, except in cases of juveniles where vacation may not be divided in parts.
ARTICLE (77) *
The annual leave period is deemed to include such holidays as prescribed by law or as agreed to, and any other periods of sickness, occurred during this leave and is considered as part thereof.
The employee shall receive his basic pay in addition to housing allowance, if any for the annual leave days. However if the exigencies of work necessitate that the employee works during his annual leave in whole or in part, and the period of leave during which he has worked, has not been carried forward to the next year, the
employer ought to pay him his wage in addition to cash in lieu of leave for his working days based on his basic pay.
* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.
The employee is entitled to receive cash in lieu of annual leave days not availed by him, if he was dismissed or if he left the service, after the period of notice stipulated by law. Cash in lieu of leave is calculated on the bases of pay received by the employee at the time of maturity of such leave.
Remuneration due to an employee plus that of the approved leave under this law shall be paid in full by the employer to the employee before the latter’s departure on annual leave.
If exigencies of work necessitate that the employee work on holidays or rest days against which he receives full or partial pay he shall be compensated in lieu thereof with increase in pay by 50% of his wage, but if he has not been compensated for the same with a leave, the employer shall pay him an increase to his basic wage equivalent to 150% of the days of work.
If the employee falls sick for reasons other than labour injury he must report his illness within a period of two days at most and the employer must take necessary measures having him medically checked up to ascertain illness.
1. During the probationary period, the employee is not entitled to any paid sick leave. 2. If the employee spends over three months after completion of the probationary period, in the continuous service of employer, and falls sick during this period, he becomes entitled to a sick leave not more than 90 days either continuous or intermittent per each year or service, computed as follows:-
A. The first fifteen days with full pay.
B. The next thirty days, with half pay.
C. The subsequent period, without pay.
* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.
Pay during sick leave shall not be made if sickness resulted from misbehavior of the employee such as consumption of alcohol or narcotics.
The employer may terminate the services of an employee who fails to resume his duties at the end of such leave as stipulated in Article (82), (83) and (84) hereof, and in such case the employee shall be entitled to his gratuity in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
If an employee resigns from service because of illness before the lapse of the first 45 days of the sick leave and the Government Medical Officer or the physician appointed by the employer justifies the causes of resignation, the employer must pay to the employee his remuneration due for the period remaining from the first 45 days referred to above.
A special leave without pay may be granted for the performance of pilgrimage to the employee once through-out his service and shall not be counted among other leaves and may not exceed 30 days.
During the annual leave or sick leave provided for hereunder, the employee may not work for another Employer; however, if the employer has established that the employee has done this, he shall have the right to terminate the service of employee without notice, and to deprive him of the leave pay due to him.
Subject to the provisions herein contained, every employee who does not report to duty immediately after expiry of his vacation, he shall be deprived of his pay for the period of absence commencing from the day following to the date on which the leave has expired.
* Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.
Without prejudice to cases where the employer has the right to dismiss the employee without notice or gratuity as prescribed herein, the employer may not dismiss an employee or serve him with a notice of dismissal during his leave as is provided for in this Section.
A working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of forty five days including the time before and after delivery, provided that her continuous period of service with the employer should not be less than a year, but if a working woman has not completed the said period, the maternity leave shall be with half pay. A working woman, on the expiry of the maternity leave, may discontinue work without pay for a maximum period of one hundred consecutive or intermittent days if such absence is due to illness which does not enable her to resume work. Such illness shall be evidenced by a medical certificate issued by a medical authority attested by the competent health authority or endorsed by such authorities to the effect that the illness resulted from pregnancy or delivery. Leave provided for in the preceding two paragraphs shall not be computed as part of other leaves.
In addition to any prescribed rest period, a working woman nursing her child shall, during the eighteen months following the date of delivery, be entitled to two additional breaks each day for this purpose, neither of which shall exceed half an hour.
These two additional periods shall be considered as working hours and shall not cause
any reduction of remuneration.
Explanation of the above
Generally the leaves are categorized in to the following categories
a) Annual Leave
b) Official Holidays
c) Sick Leave
d) Maternity Leave
What are an employee’s annual leave entitlements?
For every year of service, an employee is entitled to annual leave of not less than the following:
1. Two days leave for every month if his service is more than six months and less than one year.
2. A minimum of thirty days annually, if his service exceeds one year. At the end of his service the employee is entitled to annual leave for the fraction of the last year he spent in service.
Annual leave is usually calculated on the basis of a calendar month rather than by working days. If an employee however fails to report back to work after the expiry of his leave period, his remuneration will automatically be forfeited for the days he is absent.
What would be payable to the employee during his annual leave?
An employee is paid his basic wage plus the housing allowance, if applicable, and any other allowances which he receives in the normal working month exclusive of any bonuses received.
Who determines when the annual leave commences and its duration?
The employer has the right to determine when an employee is allowed to take his annual leave and whether (if required) he is entitled to divide the leave into two parts.
If however, work circumstances require keeping the employee at work during the whole or part of his annual leave and the leave has not been carried over for the following year, the employer should pay the employee his wage in addition to a leave allowance for the days he worked equal to his basic wage.
In all cases, no employee should be required to work during his annual leave more than once during two consecutive years.
In other words, the employer may only defer the annual leave once in two consecutive years and at the same time pay the employee the annual leave wages.
When should annual leave wages be paid?
The employee should be paid his full wage before taking his annual leave, plus the wage of the leave days he has accrued.
Is the employee entitled to payment in lieu of leave if his services are terminated?
The employee is entitled to payment of his wages for the annual leave period not taken if his employment is terminated, or he resigns after serving the period of notice determined by law. Such payment is calculated on the basic wage received at the time the leave was due including any housing or accommodation allowance where applicable. Some employers also include transportation allowance in the calculation, although this is discretionary rather than compulsory.
Nevertheless, according to judgments delivered on the matter, an employee may only claim remuneration for the annual leave not taken for the last two years of employment at the rate of the wages paid during that time. Any leave days not taken prior to that period are therefore time barred and the employee is precluded from claiming remuneration against them (providing the employer relies on this time bar provision in the event of a claim).
Is going to Haj for pilgrimage considered part of the annual leave?
The employer must give the employee once during his employment a special leave without pay to go for Haj (pilgrimage) which should not exceed 30 days. This period is not part of the employee’s annual leave or any other leave which he is entitled to.
Which official holidays are an employee entitled to take?
An employee is entitled to an official holiday with full wage on the following occasions:
Occasion Time Off
1. Hijri New Year’s Day one day
2. Gregorian New Year’s Day one day
3. Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan) two days
4. Eid Al Adha and Waqf three days
5. Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday one day
6. Isra and Al Miraj one day
7. National Day one day
The holidays listed above are applicable to all employees whether they are working in the public or private sectors. However, public sector employees may be granted additional days off to those specified on the above occasions, which are announced from time to time.
It is therefore open to private sector employees to grant their employees a holiday on the above occasions or to pay them instead. The date(s) on which the above official holidays fall depend on the Ministry’s announcements, which are published in the local newspapers shortly before they occur.
Are official holidays excluded from the calculation of leave?
The calculation of the duration of annual leave includes holidays specified by law or by agreement, or any day taken for example due to sickness, if they fall within the leave period and are deemed to be part thereof.
Is the employee entitled to sick leave?
The employee must report to the employer any injuries or illnesses preventing him from working within a maximum period of two days.
The employee is not entitled to any paid sick leave during the probation period. However, after a period of three months continuous service following the probation period, the employee is entitled to sick leave (continuous or intermittent) wages as follows:
(1) Full wage for the first 15 days.
(2) Half wage for the next 30 days.
(3) Any following period will be without wage.
However, if the employee’s illness is directly caused by his misconduct (for example by excessive drinking), he is not entitled to any wages during the sick leave.
It should be noted that the employee should provide evidence of his illness warranting sick leave by an official medical certificate.
Can the employee resign from employment during the sick leave period?
The employee may resign from employment during the sick leave period and before the completion of 45 days specified by law, provided the reason of resignation is approved by a physician. In this situation, the employer must pay the employee all the wages he is entitled to, until the end of the 45 days referred to above.
Can the employer dismiss an employee from service during his sick or annual leave?
The employer may not dismiss an employee from service during his sick leave or annual leave. During this period any notice for termination will be considered null and void.
However, the employer is entitled to terminate the employment contract if the employee has exhausted his full sick leave and is not fit to return to work. In such cases, the employee will be entitled to his full gratuity and end of service entitlement in accordance with the Law.
Furthermore, the employee will not be entitled to wages for the days that he has not reported to work after the end of his leave (whether sick leave or annual leave). This will not prejudice the rights of the employer to terminate the employee’s contract if the employee fails to report back to work within seven consecutive days from the date he was due back.
What maternity leave is a female employee entitled to?
A working woman is entitled to 45 days maternity leave with full pay which includes the period before and after the delivery, provided she has served continuously for not less than one year. The maternity leave is granted with half pay if the woman has not completed one year of service.
At the end of the maternity leave, a working woman has the right to extend her maternity leave for a maximum period of 100 days without pay. This unpaid leave can be continuous or interrupted, if the interruption is caused by illness which prevents her from coming to work. The illness must be confirmed by a certified government physician licensed by the competent health authority.
Maternity leave in either of the above cases is not deducted from any other leave that a female employee is entitled to.
During the 18 months following delivery, a female employee who nurses her child has the right to have two daily intervals which do not exceed half an hour each for the purpose of nursing her child. These additional intervals are considered part of her working hours and no deduction in wages can be made.
Paternity leave is not provided for under the Law.