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UAE Labour Law: 7 things to know about your annual leave

Annual leave is a hot topic that we hear about regularly. Many people have questions about their rights to paid leave.

Here is everything you need to know: 

1. What are an employee's leave entitlements?
For every year of service, an employee is entitled to an annual leave of not less than the following:

Two days leave for every month if their service is more than six months and less than a year. 30 days annually if their 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 they spent in service.

2. Which official holidays are employees entitled to?
An employee is entitled to an official holiday with full wage for the following occasions:

  • Hijri New Year's Day - one day
  • Gregorian New Year's Day - one day
  • Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan) - two days
  • Eid Al Adha 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

3. Are official holidays excluded from the calculation of leave?
No. 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.

4. What would be payable to the employee during his annual leave?
The employees shall be paid their basic wage plus the housing allowance, if applicable.

5. Who determines when the leave starts and for how long?
The employer has the right to determine the beginning of the annual leave, and when necessary, has the right to divide the leave into two sections.
If, however, work circumstances require keeping the employee during whole or part of the available annual leave and the leave has not been carried over for the following year, then the employer shall pay the employee their wage in addition to a leave allowance for the day they worked equal to their basic wage.

In all cases, no employee shall be required to work during their annual leave more than once during two consecutive years. In other words, the employer may only defer the annual leave once in two consecutive years and at the same time pay the employee the annual leave wages.

6. At which point should annual leave wages be paid?
Before taking their annual leave, employees shall be paid their full wage, plus the wage of the leave days they deserves according to the provision of this law.

7. Is the employee entitled to payment in lieu of leave if his services are terminated?
The employees are entitled to payment of their wages for leave if the employment is terminated, or they left their work after the period of notice determined by law. The employee will be entitled to receive wages for the annual leave that they have not taken. Payment will be calculated on the basis of the wages they received at the time when the leave was due.

Source: gulfnews

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