Know Your Leave Rights: A Guide to Paid Leaves in the UAE for Private Sector Employee (updated 2023)

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), private sector employees are entitled to various types of paid leave. These leaves provide valuable time off from work for different purposes, ensuring employees have the opportunity to rest, attend to personal matters, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Let’s explore the 9 types of paid leaves available to private sector employees in the UAE.

9 Types of Paid leaves in UAE for Private Sector Employees:

In the UAE, private sector employees have several types of paid leave they can take. Here are nine types of paid leave available:

  1. Annual Leave: After completing one year of full-time service, employees are entitled to 30 days of paid annual leaveOpens in a new tab.. Those who have worked for at least six months can take two days off per month.
  2. Weekly Rest Days: Employees have the right to at least one day of paid rest per week, as per the UAE Labour Law. Companies may choose to provide additional weekly rest days.
  3. Public Holidays: Workers are entitled to paid leave on public holidays. If they are required to work on these daysOpens in a new tab., they should be compensated for their work.
  4. Sick Leave: Employees who have completed the probation periodOpens in a new tab. can take up to 90 days of sick leave per year. The salary during sick leaveOpens in a new tab. varies: full pay for the first 15 days, half pay for the next 30 days, and no pay for the remaining 45 days. During the probation period, sick leave may be taken without pay, subject to employer approval and a medical report.
  5. Parental Leave: Private sector employees are granted five working days of paid parental leave upon the birth of their child, available to both mothers and fathers.Both mothers and fathers are entitled to five working days of paid parental leave from the day of their child’s birth until the child reaches six months of age. This leave was introduced by amendments to the Labour Law in 2020.
  6. Maternity Leave: Working mothers are entitled to 60 days of maternity leave,Opens in a new tab. with 45 days fully paid and 15 days on half pay. The leave can be applied for up to 30 days before the expected delivery date. Additionally, if the mother has an illness related to pregnancy or childbirth and is unable to work, she can take an additional 45 days without pay, supported by a medical certificate. If the baby is sick or disabled, the mother can take 30 days of fully paid leave, extendable by another 30 days without pay, based on a medical certificate.
  7. Study Leave: Employees pursuing higher education can take a paid 10-day study leaveOpens in a new tab. each year to sit for examinations. The employee must be enrolled in a UAE educational institution and have completed at least two years of service with the employer. This leave applies to employees studying in certified educational institutions in the UAE.
  8. Bereavement Leave: Paid bereavement leave Opens in a new granted to employees in the event of the death of a close relative. The number of days may vary, with five days provided for the death of a spouse and three days for the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent.
  9. Sabbatical Leave: Emirati employees in the private sector are entitled to a paid sabbatical leaveOpens in a new tab. for national service. This is mandatory for medically fit Emirati men after obtaining approval from the National and Reserve Service Committee of the UAE Armed Forces’ General Command.

Understanding your rights and entitlements regarding various types of leave is essential for employees in the UAE. The UAE Labour Law provides clear guidelines for sick leave, bereavement leave, maternity leave, parental leave, and study leave.

By being aware of these provisions, employees can effectively balance their personal and professional lives while ensuring their well-being and the well-being of their families. Remember to consult your employment contract and the specific policies of your company to ensure you fully understand your rights and take advantage of the available leaves when needed.