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Dubai: With the upcoming public holidays, a Gulf News reader wrote in inquiring if she was obliged to give a leave to her nanny during the break.

The reader asked: “I wanted to know if I am legally obliged to give my nanny, who is under our sponsorship, a leave during the public holidays. If yes, for how many days is she entitled for the leave? I have tried to search for the information but I am unable to find a clear answer. Could you please clarify what the UAE’s laws are surrounding granting leaves on public holidays to domestic workers?”

Gulf News raised the query with Jihene Arfaoui, a legal adviser based in Dubai, who spoke about the provisions in Federal Law No. 10 of 2017 on Domestic Workers. The law establishes the principle of informed consent, ensuring that workers are aware of the terms of the contract, nature of work, the workplace, remuneration and the period of daily and weekly rest as set out by the executive regulations and before they cross their national borders.

Occupation categories

The domestic worker’s law applies to the following service work occupations:

1. housemaid

2. private sailor

3. watchman and security guard

4. household shepherd

5. family chauffeur

6. parking valet workers

7. household horse groomer

8. household falcon care-taker and trainer

9. domestic labourer

10. housekeeper

11. private coach

12. private teacher

13. babysitter/nanny

14. household farmer

15. gardener

16. private nurse

17. private PRO

18. private agriculture engineer

19. cook.

Leaves for domestic workers

Article 12, 13 and 14 of the law cover the regulations surrounding the working hours, weekly paid rest days, yearly vacation days as well as medical or sick leaves for the worker. As per these articles, domestic workers are entitled to:

1. 1 day of paid rest per week

2. 12 hours of rest per day, including 8 hours consecutive rest

3. 30 days paid vacation per year

4. 30 days medical leave per year

Public holidays are not determined in the Law or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MOHRE) decision.

- Jihene Arfaoui, a legal adviser based in Dubai

“Public holidays are not determined in the Law or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MOHRE) decision. So, we think that if the holidays are not determined by law – either through a specific law or through a decision related to Domestic workers by MOHRE, or by agreement, the employer is not obliged to give these leave days to his or her employee,” Arfaoui said.