Types Of Leaves For Workers Under UAE Labour Law

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Jan 16, 2024

The guidelines for employer-employee relations in the UAE are laid out in the Federal Legislation Decree No. 33/2022 – commonly referred to as the United Arab Emirates Labour Law. It is a comprehensive legislation that not only regulates the dynamics of the private sector but also offers a well-defined framework for granting leaves and other entitlements to employees.

Under this regulatory framework, employees in the UAE are entitled to various types of leaves that ensure their well-being and work-life balance. For businesses operating in the region, understanding these leave types is extremely important to remain fair to their employees and stay compliant with the governmental guidelines.

Understanding and adhering to the different types of leaves is vital in promoting a harmonious and well-regulated working environment where both employers and employees can thrive.

Because the allotment of leaves as per the UAE Labour law isn't straightforward and keeps changing with time, employers should seek the guidance of payroll and employment consultants specialising in the UAE market.

What is the Purpose of the UAE Labour Law?

The main objective behind the UAE Labour Law 2023 is to govern and harmonize the dynamic relationship between employers and employees. It lays out the rights and responsibilities of both sides, which helps in fostering a balanced and fair work environment in the UAE.

Labour Law in the UAE addresses employment-related matters, such as hiring minors, tracking employee records, setting limits on working hours, defining vacation and leave entitlements, outlining safety regulations, establishing minimum wage standards, and delineating procedures for the termination of employment. Additionally, the law also has guidelines on end-of-service gratuities and work-related injuries.

What Are the Different Types of Leave Entitlements under the UAE Labour Law 2023?

According to the UAE Labour Law, there are outlines for various types of paid leaves that an employee can avail of while on your payroll. These leaves are designed to help workers maintain a healthy work-life balance, address health concerns, and attend important life events.

For your convenience, we are going to list down the most essential types of leaves prescribed by the UAE Labour Law so you aren’t caught off-guard

Annual Leave

Employees in the UAE are entitled to an annual leave of 30 days with full pay after completing one year of full-time employment. Additionally, employees are eligible for two paid days off each month after six months on the job.

According to Article 29, subclause 8 of the Labour Law, UAE, a company can only continually employ an individual for two years if they provide them with annual leave. Importantly, this entitlement also extends to part-time employees

Weekly Rest Day

Private sector workers in the UAE are entitled to at least one day off every week. Employers have the flexibility to increase the number of rest days, but a minimum of one is mandated by Article 21 of the Labour Law, UAE

Public/Official Holidays

Article 28 of the Labour Law, UAE, stipulates that employees are entitled to fully paid leave on all public, official, or gazette holidays. In cases where employees are required to work on these holidays, they must receive proper compensation or be granted alternative leave

Sick Leave

After the probation period, employees are entitled to sick leave for up to 90 days a year. Beyond this period, compensation varies – full compensation for the first 15 days, half compensation for the next 30 days, and no compensation for the remaining 45 days.

Probation Period - During the probation period, employees may take sick leave without compensation, provided the employer approves, based on a medical report issued by the competent medical authority

Parental Holidays

New parents in the UAE are granted five working days of parental holidays under the Labour Law, UAE. These paid leave days are available to both mothers and fathers and are applicable from the child's birth until they reach six months of age

Maternity Leave

Female employees working in the private sector of the UAE are entitled to maternity leave of two months (60 days). It comprises of 45 days of full pay and 15 days of half pay. Importantly, this leave can be applied up to 30 days before the expected date of delivery

Higher Study Leave

The UAE Labour Law grants workers ten days of paid leave annually to pursue higher education and participate in examinations. The leave is available only to employees who are studying or attending educational institutions within the UAE and have a service period of more than two years

Compassionate/ Bereavement Leave

Employees are eligible for compassionate, or bereavement leave when a close relative or family member passes away. The duration of this leave may vary, but typically, three days of paid leave are granted for the death of close relatives such as spouses, parents, grandchildren, grandparents, children, and siblings

Sabbatical Leave

UAE nationals employed in the private sector have the opportunity to take a paid sabbatical leave to complete national duty. This extended break from work is mandated by the Federal Decree-Law No. 6/2014. Emirati nationals must fulfil their national duty after obtaining approval from the UAE National and Reserve Service Committee of the Armed Forces General Command.

Stay Up-to-Date With TASC Outsourcing

It is not an easy job to understand the intricacies of the UAE labour law and the standards laid out by it, especially when it keeps changing with time. You always have to be aware of any change that’s happening in the laws to maintain compliance and avoid penalties of any form.

As a startup or SME in the UAE, it is always a better idea to consider outsourcing payroll and HR support because it takes away the burden of understanding the leave structures in-house. By hiring experts, you not only remain compliant but also prioritise the well-being of your workforce – the people who drive your business forward.

At TASC, we have a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the UAE Labour regulations to be your trusted guide in this journey. We offer HR and payroll services that are tailored to help your business meet legal standards while establishing an environment for your employees that helps them thrive.

Be it calculating leave entitlements or workforce management, you can trust our consultants to be there at your beck and call.

If you wish to discuss your needs, please get in touch with us now!