Make sure you know what you are entitled to and don't miss the bus Image Credit: GN Archives

Understanding your employee rights is a very important part of living and working in the UAE. Below is the labour law, as published by the UAE Ministry of Labour, with regards to all matters of leave.

Disclaimer: The following text comes from the UAE Ministry of Labour’s UAE Labour Law.



Article 74

The worker shall be entitled to an official leave with full payment in the following occasions:

a - New Year's Day ( Hejir ) – One day.

b - New Year's Day ( Gregorian ) – One day.

c - Eid al Fitr – Two days.

d - Eid al Adha and Arafat Day – Three days.

e - Prophet Mohammed Birthday Anniversary – One day.

f - Isra and Mi'raj – One day.

g - National Day – One day.

Article 75

The worker shall be entitled during every year of service an annual leave of no less than the following periods:

a - Two days for each month should the period of service of the worker be of six months at least and a year at most.

b - Thirty days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year.

Should the service of the worker be terminated, the worker shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year.

Article 76

The employer may determine the date of the commencement of the annual leave, and may divide it if necessary to two or more periods. The division provision shall not apply to the leave of youths.

Article 77

As amended by Federal Law no. 12 dated 29/10/1986:

The holidays set by law or by agreement, or any other leaves caused by illness should it occur during such holiday shall be included in the annual leave and deemed a part thereof.

Article 78

As amended by Federal Law no. 12 dated 29/10/1986:

The worker shall receive a basic wage and a housing allowance, if any, for the days of the annual leave. Should the work circumstances require that the worker work during his total annual leave or a part thereof, and should the leave during which the worker worked is not carried forward to the next year, the employer must pay the worker the wage thereof, in addition to a leave allowance for the days of work, equal to his basic wage.

In all cases, the worker may not be required to work during the annual leave for more than once within two consecutive years.

Article 79

The worker shall be entitled to receive any sums for accrued annual leave days should he be dismissed or should he leave work after the duly determined notice period. Such payment shall be calculated on the basis of the wages paid to the worker at the time of such leave.

Article 80

The employer shall pay to the employee, prior to the annual leave thereof, the entire wage due thereto in addition to the leave pay determined by virtue of the provisions hereof.

Article 81

Should the work circumstances require that the worker work during holidays or leaves for which a complete or partial payment is paid thereto, the worker shall be granted a substitute leave as well as an increase in the wage amounting to 50 per cent thereof. Should he not be granted a substitute leave, the employer shall pay to the worker an additional sum to the basic salary thereof amounting to 150 per cent with regards to the days of work.

Article 82

Should the worker sustain an illness not caused by an occupational injury, he must notify the employer thereof within two days at most. The employer shall take the necessary procedures to expose the worker to a medical examination immediately in order to verify the illness thereof.

Article 83

As amended by Federal Law no. 12 dated 29/10/1986:

1 - The worker shall not be entitled to any paid sick leave during the probation period.

2 - Should the worker spend more than three months after the end of the probation period in the continuous service of the employer and contracted an illness, he shall be entitled to a sick leave not exceeding 90 consecutive or non consecutive days for every year of service, calculated as follows :

a - The first fifteen days with full pay.

b - The following thirty days with half pay.

c - The following periods without pay.

Article 84

The worker shall not be entitled to the wage during the sick leave should the illness directly arise from the ill behaviour of the worker such as the consumption of alcohols or narcotics.

Article 85

The employer may terminate the service of the worker subsequent to the exhaustion thereby of the sick leaves set forth in Articles 82, 83 and 84 hereof, should he not be able to report back to his work. In such case, the worker shall be entitled to the end of service gratuity in accordance with the provisions hereof.

Article 86

Should the worker resign from service by reason of illness before the expiry of the first forty five days of the sick leaves, and the governmental physician or the physician appointed by the employer consents to the cause of resignation, the employer must pay to the resigning worker the wage due to him with regards to the remainder of the first forty five days referred to hereinabove.

Article 87

The worker shall be granted for the entire duration of his employment and for one time a special leave without pay for the pilgrimage. Such leave shall not be included in the other leaves and may not exceed thirty days.

Article 88

As amended by Federal Law no. 12 dated 29/10/1986:

During the annual or sick leave set forth in the present Chapter, the worker may not work for another employer. Should the employer establishes such action, he shall be entitled to terminate the employment of the worker without notice and to deprive him of his wage for the duration of the leave.

Article 89

Subject to the provisions set forth herein, every worker who does not report back directly to his job upon the end of his leave shall be deprived of the wage thereof for the period of his absence as of the day that follows the end of the leave.

Article 90

Without prejudice to the cases in which the employer is entitled to dismiss the worker without notice or gratuity set forth herein, the employer may not dismiss the worker or give him a notice thereof while the worker is on a leave set forth in the present Chapter.

Source UAE Ministry of Labour

Call centre For any Labour issues, call 800 665

Locate your nearest Ministry of Labour office

Gulf News is not responsible for any ammendments made to the UAE Labour Law. All labour disputes must go through the Ministry of Labour. This article simply quotes the UAE MOL.