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Dubai: The new UAE Labour Law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labour Relations – comes into effect in the UAE from February 2, 2022 and will regulate relations between employers and employees in the UAE’s private sector.

One of the major amendments of the new law include the provision of various types of leaves that an employee can avail of, including bereavement leave, sick leave, sabbatical, study leave and paternity and maternity leave.

However, apart from these leaves, which are listed out in Article 30, 31 and 32 of the new law, employees can also avail of ‘unpaid leaves’, which would include taking leaves for reasons not mentioned in the Articles listed above.

Article 33 of the law states: “The worker may, after the consent of the employer, take an unpaid leave, other than leaves referred to herein.”

So, if an employee does wish to take unpaid leaves, it would need to be done after reaching a mutual agreement with the employer. Also, Clause 2 of the law mentions that such leaves would not be included in the period of service that is calculated for the employee, to determine his or her end-of-service benefits: “Leave referred to in the paragraph above shall not be counted in the period of service of the worker with the employer and within the pension system according to the relevant legislation in force.”

Failing to report back to work after taking leave

Also, if you have applied for any kind of leave with your employer, which has been approved by them, failure to report back to work after the period of leave has been completed may impact your right to receive a salary. Article 34 of the new law states: “A worker who does not report to work after the end of his leave without good cause shall not be entitled to his or her wage throughout the period of his or her absence after the end of leave.”