Emergency Leaves as per UAE Labour Law
Emergencies can come to anyone, anytime. Some loved one may fall sick or expire. In this case, you may have to go visit your loved ones without a formal request and approval from your company. I have had my friends take emergency leaves for various reasons. Most of their employers have agreed for this and have let them take leave. But there have been instances that the company has not allowed them to take leaves and instead asked to resign. I do not know the real reasons for this.
I have also heard in Emirates Diary Forum of companies denying emergency leaves:
UAE Labour Law does not have any clauses that let employees take Emergency Leaves.
UAE Labour Law has various other type of Leaves like:
- Annual Leaves;
- Public Holidays;
- Sick Leave; (Podcast Episode on Sick Leave)
- Maternity Leave
- Hajj or Umrah Leave;
But there is no mention anywhere of emergency leaves. Approving Emergency Leaves is the prerogative of the company. Employees have no say here. But most of the companies do accept emergency leave application.
How to apply for Emergency Leaves?
If you are facing emergency situation in UAE or outside UAE, here is what you should do:
- As soon as you have information on an emergency, contact your direct manager and inform him/her of the situation;
- I don’t think you will need to send email or get confirmation from HR. If you do have time, please do so;
- Once the Manager has agreed to your request, keep them informed of the situation on a day to day basis. This way, you have maintained a good relation ship and you have proof of your emails if there is a situation when you return;
- Provide an estimate of number of days of leaves you will take. This need not be a precise number but approximate;
- When you are back, make sure to fill up the annual leave application and submit.
Emergency leaves during probation period
In any case, during your probation period, you are not eligible for any kind of leaves. So emergency leaves also are not permitted during probation period.
What if the company does not agree for Emergency Leaves?
In some cases, I have heard that some companies have rejected requests for annual leaves. The reason for this may be that, in the past some of other employees have cheated the company by taking emergency leaves, never to return. This would have caused distrust with the employer. Make sure that you have mentioned the true reason for emergency leaves. If the company still does not agree to your requests, I don’t think you have a choice here.
If you have maintained a good relationship with your company and officials, there is no reason for the company to decline your requests for emergency leaves.