Sick Leave or Medical Leave in UAE
Anyone can fall sick at any unexpected time. Many companies have different policies on what proof is required to avail sick leave pay. However, UAE Labour Law specifically lays out several Articles within the Labour Law.
You may have following questions about Sick Leaves in UAE:
- What is the sick leave policy in UAE Labour Law?
- What is the rule of sick leave in UAE?
- How can I get sick leave certificate in UAE?
- Is sick leave certificate required for one day sick leave?
UAE Labour Law provides clear provisions for sick leave for employees working.
When should employee inform about Sick Leave?
As per Article (82)-The employee must report to the employer any injuries or illnesses preventing him from working within a maximum period of two days.
Can you take Sick Leave during probation? How many sick leaves can I take in a year?
As per the Article (83) – The employee is not entitled to any paid sick leave during the probation period. However, if an employee spends over three months after completion of the probationary period, the employee is entitled to sick leave not more than 90 days either continuous or intermittent per each year of service, computed as below:
- Full pay for the first 15 days
- Half pay for the next 30 days
- No pay for any following period
It should be noted that the employee should provide evidence of his illness warranting sick leave by an official medical certificate.
Note: The above provisions are subject to conditions and do not apply on sick leave because of occupational illness.
When are you not entitled for Sick Leave?
As per the Article (84)- If the employee’s illness is directly caused by his misbehavior such as consumption of alcohol or narcotics he is not entitled to any wages during the sick leave.
In addition :
If the employee is on probation period
If the employee works for another employer during the sick leave
What can cause termination after sick leave?
As per the Article (85), The employer may terminate the service of an employee who fails to resume his duties at the end of such leave as stipulated in Article (82), 83), and (84) hereof, in such case employee shall be entitled to his gratuity in accordance with the provision of UAE Labour Law.
Can you resign during the sick leave?
As per Article (86)-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 or Government Medical Officer. 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.
What are the provisions for Hajj Leave / Umrah Leave?
As per the Article (87)- A special leave without pay may be granted for the performance of pilgrimage to the employee once throughout his service and shall not be counted among other leaves and may not exceed 30 days. Note that the Hajj pilgrimage leave is without pay as per UAE Labour Law; but I have seen companies paying employees during the Hajj Leave.
Can you work for another employer during sick leave?
As per the Article (88)-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.
What happens if you do not report to work after sick leave?
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.
Can a company terminate employee during sick leave?
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.
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.
However, in cases of a persistent or chronic medical condition or the need for long-term treatment, an employee may apply for an extended sick leave of up to six months, which will be granted if authorized by the Civil Service Medical Committee, on the basis of an assessment conducted by the Committee itself. Thereafter, the six month period of sick leave can be extended for a further six months, on the same basis. Under applicable rules, civil servants are entitled to full pay while on sick leave.
Sick Leave Certificate – How to Get?
As per the New DHA rule, Dubai Employees in Dubai’s private and public sectors must pay Dh60 to get a sick leave certificate which will help to prevent abuse of sick leave provisions and protecting employers from work day losses.
Do you require Sick Leave Medical Certificate for one day leave?
This really depends on your company. Certain companies require the employee to submit sick leave medical certificate from DHA even for one day sick leave. If the company requires you to submit medical leave certificate, unfortunately you will have to provide this
What if you fall sick during Annual Holidays?
If you fall sick during annual holidays and if you have a sick leave certificate from concerned Authorities, then the sick leave can be considered. However, if you do not have acceptable proof of your illness, your company may not accept the sick leave application.
What if you fall sick during Public Holidays?
Similar to being sick during annual leaves, if you are sick during public holidays, you should produce sick leave certificate acceptable to your company.
COVID- 19 Positive – Can I Apply Sick Leave?
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization confirmed the necessity of the private sector fulfilling social and legal responsibilities toward employees affected by the Coronavirus.
Employees tested positive for COVID 19 should be considered pathological cases and will be given sick leave in accordance with the Federal Law No 8 of 1980.
The UAE labor law states that if an employee (who is under probation) has spent three months in continuous service for an employer, he is entitled to sick leave, and the duration of leave should not exceed 90 days.
If an employee has completed more than three months after the completion of the probation period of the employer and falls ill, he shall be entitled to sick leave not exceeding 90 days for every year of service.
As per the aforementioned law, the employee should be paid:
- The full salary for the first fifteen days
- Half salary for the following 30 days and
- Without salary for the remaining 45 days
The Ministry also called upon the private sector to document employee leaves, note any amendments to business contracts, and ensure the payment of salaries through the Wages Protection System (WPS).
COVID- 19 POSITIVE – Can Employer Terminate The Contract During The Sick Leave?
As per UAE labor law, an employer does not have the right to dismiss an employee from service during his sick leave or annual leave. Any notice during this period for the termination will be considered null and void.
If you believe you have been terminated in violation of the UAE you can file a complaint with MOHRE app or calling 800 60.
The Ministry will deal with any complaint in this respect in accordance with the procedures followed, if the complaint cannot be resolved amicably it will be referred to the judiciary for litigation to determine whether it constituted lawful termination or arbitrary dismissal, said the Ministry.
The UAE’s Federal Law on communicable diseases (Federal Law No. 14 of 2014) puts in place regulations that protest the rights of a person suffering from a communicable disease.
The Ministry added in this respect that Article 27 of Federal Law No. 14 of 2014 on combating communicable diseases states that “it is prohibited to place any restrictions or provision on patients carrying communicable diseases that would deny them their rights enshrined in the legislation in place in the country out of consideration of their health status and without prejudice to the measures governing the control and prevention of communicable diseases.“
COVID- 19 POSITIVE – Will the employees be remunerated during quarantine period? (If employee had an contact with the suspected case)
The UAE Labour Law does not specifically address this situation. This could be based on the company’s policies and procedures which should be reviewed for any relevant provisions (relating to emergency leave or unpaid leave, for example).
If an employer demands an employee to be kept under quarantine, then the employer may be under an obligation to remunerate the employee for the duration the employee has been kept under quarantine. This is because quarantine was imposed on him and not voluntarily taken.
In this case, employer may request the employee to work remotely, consume annual leave or sick leave , it may be paid as normal payment based on the company’s discretion.
It is always advised to all the employees to notify the employer where they have any symptoms related to COVID19 and not to return to work before they are no longer contagious.