Annual Leave as per UAE Labour Law

Annual leave for Employees as per UAE Labour Law

There are various types of Leaves that an employee is entitled to:

  1. Annual Leave;
  2. Sick Leave;
  3. Maternity Leave (only for women!)

In this post I will cover Annual Leave.

Definitive Guide to Leaves as per UAE Labour Law!

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 leave and maternity leave.

What are the mandatory leaves as per UAE Labour Law?

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
  • Martyr’s Day – 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:

How many days of annual leaves are you eligible for?

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.

Who decides annual leaves of employees?

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.

What if you fall sick during annual leave?

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.

Is salary paid in full during 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 are also to be paid.

What about annual leaves not utilised? Do I get paid for them?

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.

When should I receive my annual leave salary?

As per the Article (80)– Annual leave salary 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.

What if you have to work during annual leaves?

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.

What if you fall sick during annual leave?

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 en cashed. Annual Air ticket procedure is related to company policy and practice and it is not covered under UAE Labour Law.

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  • From which salary should they base the leave salary? For example: I did not go for vacation for the last 3 years and my salary changes. Should they calculate it base on your salary on every year or they have to calculate it on your latest salary?

  • I have the same question, if the salary changes, for example I within 1 year I have promotions and increment from 3000 salary becomes 3,800. Where I will base my vacation salary? Thanks hoping for a response.

  • Dear Sirs,

    Please help me clarify for yearly annual leave.

    1 I worked complete 1st year, I already received 30 days annual leave.
    2 If 2nd year, I worked only 8 month. After that Company finished job, How many day the company will calculate for my annual leave benefit ?

  • I work under Tecom and my contract states a probation period of 6 months. I was terminated after 5 months. Is my company liable to pay me for my accrued leave over the 5 months I was there?

  • I work 1 year and 10 days in a company. As per as per my appointment letter, company should pay my annual leave two way plane ticket at the time of my annual leave in every year. But I didn’t go vacation and now I terminated from the company. Is I am eligible to get my two way air ticket cost plus one way ticket which is for termination going to home country. Total 3 way ticket costs ?

    • it depends on company policy. However you are entitled for one way air ticket as per law. It will be depend on company to pay you the cost of return ticket. However since you are terminated you are entitled for one way air ticket to your home country


  • Hello Sir,

    Good afternoon,

    May I know the exact computation of Annual Leave? For example my basic wage is 1,000 plus 750 in home allowances and 750 for transportation… total of 2,500.. under UAE labour law “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.” Is it means that I will received a total of 2,500 as my annual leave payment? Please help me with this…..

    • The normal working month that I received is 2,500… plus 500 cash on hand in my boss. My total salary is 3000 but he include only 2500 in contract and he informed to me 500 will be given to me cash…
      I dont know how much I will be receiving for my annual leave.

      Please Mr. Deepak please help me.. by boss is telling me that I will receive only 1,000 because its my basic page in my contract.. but what is the meaning of this “plus housing allowance and any other allowances which you receives in the normal working month”…..

      Please there’s anyone who can answer me,, I need your help please.

      Please I need your reply…

    • You need to get same salary (what you recieive in other months) during your vacation leave

      • Thanks Mr. Deepak.. but sir according to my boss as per to company policy you will received only basic pay which is 1000 only.. What will I do sir? and what should I tell to him (like proof or any evidence) that would convince him to give the correct annual leave payment) Do you have any legal documents sir so that I will show that to him. Im new in company and all employees they encounter the same.. not full salary…, I want him to be oblige what is due to us.., Any legal article, law that can help us sir…, My plan is I will show to him the article 78 in UAE labor law.. is this correct….

      • Can you recommend any person who can help us with this sir.. person we can contact sir…, because of course I want to received that full and I’m sure he will insist on this.. and he will even threaten us… Like before…, his always like this…,

  • I m on Husbands Visa and i worked in a co for 7 months without Labour Card, Am i entitled for Leave Salary? What will be my calculation? I was withdrawing Salary of 5000 per month. Pl reply thru mail.

  • can anyone give me a formula for calculation of annual benefits ….for example 2 yrs have already work then i consume 20 days vacation…can the vacation used deducted from vacation leave? what is the formula of computation..pleas help

  • Dear Mr. Deepak,

    I have joined our company September 2013. And now I will pass to my boss my annual leave request letter on August. My fiance and I decided to go home in our own country to get married on October. Are there any possibilities that my boss will not allow me?, even though I have a reason to go home. And as for my work I am a secretary and a receptionist I know my position will be vacate if I will go vacation.

    • if you are entitled for anual leave i dont think your boss will reject your application. explain your situation and try to convince him

  • I have to go my home country after a one year completion in the company. I sent an email to Manager five weeks ago. But my company boss said that i have to inform boss before 6 weeks. I also have an emergency in home country and I did not visited country since i joined company. What action should be taken in that situation. Should i complain to DMCC? My company is freezone company in JLT

  • Hi,

    You mentioned “Accrued leave pay is based on only basic pay it doesn’t includes housing, transport or other allowances”.

    I came across this from some lawyers “Note the difference between the calculation of payment of an employee’s encashed leave versus an employee’s accrued but unused annual leave at the end of their service. Whilst encashed leave is paid at a rate of basic salary, accrued but unused annual leave at the end of service is paid at a rate of full salary. This is because in the first situation, the employee has chosen not to take their annual leave and instead encashed it, whereas in the latter the employee no longer has the opportunity to take their accrued annual leave (at the end of their service). The employee’s inability to take accrued leave is why payment is at full salary.”

    Please explain further.

    The link for your reference is


  • I need to take my annual leave on this May 9, 2014. I bought already a ticket for my first fight after four years. But my Boss change her mind she never allow me to take my passport for OEC registration….this is my problem, days is coming how can I take a leave. She never refund my expenses to. If I agree to take my vacation she never my annual leave salary also…pls I need help!

  • what would be the calculation for the annual leave? is it salary + the basic salary in the contract?

  • If my boss offered me 1500 AED for the ticket on my annual leave but the cheapest ticket is 2000 AED do I have the right to ask or demand from my boss to pay the balance? because he based the airfare to his home country not my home country which the airfare is very expensive.

  • If my boss offered me 1500 AED for the ticket on my annual leave but the cheapest ticket is 2000 AED do I have the right to ask or demand from my boss to pay the balance? because he based the airfare to his home country not my home country which the airfare is very expensive.

  • What IF company do not pay me my pending salaries before departure /travel time? they say that they will pay when you come back as usual, late salaries. Always 2 months delayed salaries since year 2008. what should I do?

  • hi as per uae labour law how many days vacation we have in one year ? vacation is calculated in 11 months or 12 months ?

  • Dear Deepak,

    KINDLY ANSWER as per Law if its possible, as i should prof to my boss:

    If my LEAVE Salary was delayed for 2 years and my salary in 2011 less that now .
    Which leave salary i should receive – 2011 or present one ?????

  • hi, does the law says that annual leave calculation of 30 days include fridays and saturdays? we work 5 days a week, if i file for 30 days leave, do i count the friday and saturdays that fall on that 30 consecutive days?

    • Depends on company policy
      Some company follows calender days and some follows working days

  • I want to know, how to calculate over time for labours, as per the UAE labour law. Incase he is working in friday, or in case he is working in public holidays and normal days… please explain the calculation for this…

  • I am dealing with a number of employees that intentionally accumulated large number of unused vacation/holidays. Can the company force them to use these holidays. In other words force them to go on long vacations in order to use these holidays.

    Also is encashment up to the discretion of the company? I am referring to those cases where someone wants to encash their vacation days and not when they are terminated and are left with unused vacation in which case they are entitled to cash them at the full rate.


  • i was working last 8 month in our current company and last week am resigned from the company. am entitled for the leave salary.
    Somebody was saying that if it less than 1 year, am not entitled leave salary?

  • Dear Sir,

    Good morning.
    I want to know according to UAE law, what shall I get paid before my annual leave as per my information below.

    Basic salary: AED10,000 per month.
    Rent and other allowance: AED5,000 per month
    Total monthly salary: AED15,000 per month.

    I have completed 12month works and entitled for annual vacation on September-2014.

    What would be my leave salary that is in September what would be the payment according to UAE law?

    Look forward for your comments and favorable reply.

    Best regards
    Dubai – UAE.

    • Your annual leave salary would be AED 15,000/- plus ticket entitlement if any specified in your internal agreement or as per the company policy.

  • Dear Sir,

    I have worked for my company from Oct 2012 and went on leave in Aug 2014 i.e. nearly about two years how much leave salary am i entitled for kindly assist.



    • depends on your contract term for your annual leave. There is nothing like leave salary.

  • I am working for 1 yr and 3 mos now, my boss didn’t allow me to take my annual leave for this year, can i convert that into cash instead? thank you

  • Dear Sir,
    I am here for the first time in Dubai. After a year ,can i get leave. I heard that the first two years after the visa, cant get leave after one year. I have a two-year visa.

  • Hi Deepak, please confirm, leave pay calculations. One of our employee got relieved after 3 months service and the management agreed to pay 4.5 days leave pay. Pls. help me how to calculate this.

  • Hi!

    Just want to ask. I had my annual leave last month of August and before going back to work may company sent me an email saying that the management decided to extend my leave until October. Now, they sent me a leave application form to fill-up and sign. One is for the paid leave which they changed the period covered from sometime in September to August, and another form for the unpaid leave which covers late of August to October. They said that these are for labour purposes. Isn’t it illegal that they are forcing me to sign the form which I did not apply to, even the force leave that they’ve given to me?

    • Roneil,
      If you have enough leaves you can take a annual leave. If you dont have any leave balance then it will be considered as unpaid leave

  • hi Mr Deepak M,

    we been employed to a shop and we close due to transfer another location. But its been 5 months until now we still didn’t open.
    Are we entitled to get any salary even if we don’t have work ?

  • I have been working for a company since December 2010.My employer refused to give me my annual leave saying the situation is not favourable for the company since I am the only employee and he regularly travels for several months. Am I entitled to Payments equal to my salary for the almost 4 years that my employer refused to grant me my annual leave.will MOL be able to help me if I make a complaint.

    • David,
      Better to solve this issue with your employer or else you can address this issue to MOL





  • Hi. I just wanna ask something. When are you entitled to have the two-way ticket? Because in my offer letter, it says there after completion of 24 months. But I will not going to renew my contract on my company. So on my 22nd month, i am going to have my vacation. is it possible that they will give me two way ticket? I will still finish my contract anyway. Thank you.

    • Charisse,
      Labour law does not mention anything about air ticket. It is company policy and facility provided to employees. Depends on companies.

  • Dear Sir

    I just want to know that I have been complited my 1 yr and 9 month n 11 days then I was resine. I have not taken annual leave. How much leave salary I will get. And how much Graduity.

    They are not canceling my visa. It is advisable to go to labour or police

    • Aitot,
      Leave as per law. In the notice period, i don’t think you can take annual leave.

  • One of my supervisor is eligible for 45 days leave until 18th Jul 2014 and he was paid for those 45 days but he had only 35 days as annual leave and return 22nd Aug 2014.

    Now he want to go for his exams in home on Jan 2015.

    Can he encash the remaining 10 days + the eligible annual leave (from 22nd Aug 2014 to Jan 2015) for his exams (or) that remaining 10 days annual leave is void?

    Please clarify.

  • i want to know the article No. 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))

    this statement not on labor law 1980 is there any new updates for or modification for article 78
    as per the law its
    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

    Amended by Federal Law No. (12) of 1986.

  • Hi good evening!
    I’m already 1 year and 6 months in my company and in the contact that I signed regarding annual leave I’m eligible as per UAE labour law. But my manager don’t want to allow me to take my annual leave. I’m already entitled take 30 days leave right?

    • Lee,
      How often a company grants annual leave is entirely upto company. However, annual leave is mandatory as per labour law.

  • Dear Sir

    i am working al hazeem computer embroidery sharjah , my visa is sales representative my contract is unlimited it’s going to finish my labor card is on 20th December 2014 and visa and ID Card going to finish 12 January 2015, i want to know if i don’t want to renew my contract then what is end of services benefits due to my employee should pay, during this 2 year i went one time on leave because my mother death and company pay return ticket but i did’t take leave salary till now, my basic salary is 4000 + 1000 allowance per month, pls advise me what i can do if my employee will not pay anything if i will not renew contract, waiting for your best advise , thanks

  • I’m working in a company my new visa only 06 moths old, i like to change my job, can i change the job or not. please reply me.

  • Hai Iam working for a more then 18 months and i take fist year annual leave. Now my company forcing me to go for leave 12 days and they’re telling me that we don’t have work .I dint Take any leave Iam attending daily my office spending full time .because I have financial problem that’s way Iam attending .is this possible that I can full salary.

  • Hi,

    I have 40 days of leave balance and I want to take 30 days leaves.

    After 30 days I might have to extend my annual leaves for 10 more days, if I will do so, will the extended 10 days be unpaid or deducted from annual balance as per law?

    For the record, my company is always considering extended leaves as unpaid whether leaves are available or not. even though approved by HOD.

  • depak sir,
    i taken 3 month leave in 2 year service .is it will affect my gratuity?my labour card is expired ,can i cancell my visa legally .can i get gratuity .please reply me

  • my salary was 2000 and my basic is 800 and at labour office they settled 1000 leave salary, and i want to know how they settled, i worked 1 1/2 year, and paid one month notice termination compensation 2000 aed, gratuity 733, please just i want to know, the rules.

  • I am going to use one day of my leave for a wedding. The day that I will be taking is a Thursday. Returning to work the next Sunday. My normal work week is Sunday to Thursday inclusive.
    By taking one day off prior to a weekend, will the weekend days be also included? In other words, will I lose 3 days leave even though I am only taking one day off?

  • Hi! I just want to know, im on a freezone visa and currently taking my annual leave vacation, I have an offer from other freezone company, can I submit my resignation letter during this period?

    Can I also just pay the compensation notice since I want to submit an immediate resignation?

    Thank you.

    • Gino,
      You may resign but check whether ban is applicable.
      The compensation part depends on company.

  • Hi,
    I took day-offs every Thursdays and these were agreed to be deducted from my annual leave. How many days will it be counted per week considering that I took on Thursdays? Is it legal to include the Fridays and Saturdays?

  • Hi,

    I would like to know that I still have 25 working days leave balance for the year 2014. In case, if I leave the company then what is the formula for calculating the equivalent Annual leave cash entitlement?

    Are the balance working days be converted to calendar days first? (Considering in mind five working days per week).

    Please also advise if Calculation is based on Basic Salary?

    • Adnan,
      Company will adjust the leave salary as per their policy.
      Not sure about 2nd query.
      Yes, basic salary is considered to calculate gratuity.