Annual leave for Employees as per UAE Labour Law
There are various types of Leaves that an employee is entitled to:
- Annual Leave,
- Sick Leave,
- Maternity Leave(only for women!)
In this post I will cover Annual Leave.
Annual leave is a basic right of every employee guaranteed by the UAE Labour Law. Full-time employees working in the UAE are entitled to leave and holidays as per laws in the country, which broadly include annual or recreation leave, sick and maternity leave.
Mandatory leaves in UAE: As per Section- 2 Article (74), every employee is entitled to an official leave with full pay on the following occasion:
- Hijri New Year’s Day – one day
- Gregorian New Year’s Day- one day
- Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan)- two days
- Eid Al Ada and Waqfa – three days
- Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday- one day
- Isra and Al Mi’raj- one day
- National Day – one day
Note: Every company in UAE must adhere to the above official leaves. If the employees do work on these days, an overtime must be paid to these employees.
Below are the various Articles in UAE Labour Law which mention and explain about Annual Leave:
As per Article (75)- Each employee is entitled for annual leave after completing each year of service as mentioned below:
- Two days leave for every month if his service is more than six months and less than a year.
- 30 days annually if his service exceeds one year. At the end of the service the employee is entitled to an annual leave for the fraction of the last year he spent in service.
Note: UAE Labour Law mentions about Calendar days leave in this Article.
As per the Article (76)- 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.
Note: As an employee, you could decide when your annual leave starts. However, note that annual leaves are allowed after completion of 1 year at most companies. You could divide your Annual leave into 2 parts at most.
As per the Article (77)– The calculation of duration of annual leave shall include holidays specified by law or by agreement, or by any other day because of sickness if they fall within the leave and shall be deemed to be part thereof.
Note: If any official holidays or sickness occurs during the Annual Leave, then they are treated as part of Annual Leave.
As per the Article (78)- An employee shall be paid his basic wage plus the housing allowance, if applicable, and any other allowances which he receives in the normal working month.
If however, work circumstances require keeping the employee during whole or part of his annual leave and the leave has not been carried over for the following year, then the employer shall pay him his wage in addition to a leave allowance for the day he worked equal to his basic wage.
Note: Salary during Annual leave will include Basic salary and Housing allowance. Other allowances may not be paid.
As per the Article (79)- An employee is entitled to receive cash in lieu of annual leaves 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 is calculated on the basis of pay received by the employee at the time of maturity of such leave.
In other words, the employee is entitled to payment for the annual leave period not taken if the employment is terminated either by way of resignation or termination. Such payment is calculated on the basis of the basic wage received at the time the leave was due.
Accrued leave pay is based on only basic pay it doesn’t includes housing, transport or other allowances.
As per the Article (80)– Annual leave shall be paid to the employee before taking his annual leave, the employee shall be paid his full wage, plus the wage of his leave days he deserves according to the provision of this law.
As per the ARTICLE (81)
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.
As per the ARTICLE (82)
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.
As per the ARTICLE (83)
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.
As per the ARTICLE (84)
Pay during sick leave shall not be made if sickness resulted from mis-behaviour of the employee such as consumption of alcohol or narcotics.
As per the ARTICLE (85)
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.
As per the ARTICLE (86)
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.
As per the ARTICLE (87)
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.
Note: This is applicable for Muslim employees once during their tenure at a company.
As per the ARTICLE (88)
During the annual leave or sick leave provided for here under, 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.
As per the ARTICLE (89)
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.
Note: If you delay rejoining your company after the Annual Leave, you will not be entitled for any pay for the days you are absent.
As per the ARTICLE (90)
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.
Note: Companies have no right to dismiss an employee during their leave period.
I am sure these Articles in the UAE Labour Law provide you a detailed view of Leaves, Annual Leaves and your rights as an employee.
An employee cannot work for another company during the annual leave, if you do so an employer has the right to terminate your service without notice and withdraw him of the leave pay due to him
Every employee must report to work upon completion of annual leave. Upon failure to report to duty, the employer has the right to withdraw of his pay for the period of absence commencing from the day following to the date on which the leave has expired.
Except under Article 120 of the Act, The UAE Labour Law does not allow an employer to dismiss or issue termination warnings to employees when they are on annual leave.
Annual Air Ticket en cashing procedure:
Air ticket policy is very flexible in nature. It is a benefit in kind not in cash so it shouldn’t be encashed. Annual Air ticket procedure is related to company policy and practice and it is not covered under UAE Labour Law.