Dubai: If you are about to quit a job in the UAE, you are entitled to not just the gratuity as per the UAE Labour Law, but also several other end-of-service benefits, including the payment of any unused days off. A Gulf News reader wrote in, enquiring about his entitlements related to annual leave pay.
The reader asked: “My employer terminated my contract of employment after a service period of four years and nine months, with a one month notice period. My gratuity has been paid for the term, as per the regulations, of 20 days per year (for the period of five years).
“My employer started paying my first annual leave salary after two years of work. So, I have only been paid three annual leave salaries. Please suggest whether I can ask for the fourth and final leave salary, which they have not paid. My visa with the company is already cancelled.”
Gulf News raised the query with Mohamed Elmasry, Associate at Al Suwaidi and company, who spoke about not just the annual leave entitlements as per the UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 – but also what the law says about making claims for entitlements that may not be recent.
According to Elmasry, as per Article 29, the reader is entitled to an annual leave that is fully paid. This entitlement includes:
• Thirty days for each year of extended service.
• Pro-rata leaves for the last year of work, in case the service ends before availing the full annual leave balance.
• Payment for unused annual leave days upon leaving work, regardless of the number of those days, calculated based on the basic wage.
Article 19 of the implementing regulations stipulates that at the end of the service, he should receive a cash allowance for the balance of his legally due annual leaves, calculated on his basic wage. This means if he has not availed or been compensated for annual leave for the last part of his employment, he should receive a cash allowance for it.
“Considering his employment term is that of four years and nine months, he is entitled to an annual leave for each full year worked, as well as a pro-rata portion of leave for the final partial year. Since he mentioned having received only three annual leave salaries, it appears he may be owed leave salary for the part of the fourth year worked,” Elmasry said.
“Furthermore, Article 19 of the implementing regulations stipulates that at the end of the service, he should receive a cash allowance for the balance of his legally due annual leaves, calculated on his basic wage. This means if he has not availed or been compensated for annual leave for the last part of his employment, he should receive a cash allowance for it,” he added.
However, Elmasry added that any claims should be filed within a year from the date that you become entitled to it.
“It is vital to remember that under Article 54(7), any legal claim regarding any employment rights must be made within one year from the date of entitlement. Therefore, timely action is essential.”