Annual leave laws
The number of days of annual leave you are entitled to depends on the duration of service, with workers required to work for at least six months of continuous service to be eligible to take annual leave. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: If you have just started working in the UAE's private sector, did you know that you may be entitled to a few days of annual leave, even before completing one year of service?

In a post on its official social media channels, the UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) informed workers of their annual leave entitlement.

As per the post, once a worker has completed six months of service, he or she can avail of two days of annual leave per month of service. This is applicable until he or she completes one year of service.

For workers who have completed a year of service, they are entitled to 30 days of annual leave a year and if you are leaving your job, you are once again entitled to annual leaves for the fraction of year that you have served at the company. These annual leave entitlements can be encashed, as long as they meet certain criteria that are listed in the UAE's Labour Law - Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021.

The new labour law, which came into effect from February 2, 2022, is applicable to all establishments, employers and workers in the private sector in the UAE, and covers various aspects of the work relationship between employers and employees.

Article 29 of this law provides a detailed breakdown of the annual leaves that an employee is entitled to. Here is a look at what the Article states in full:

Also read:

Article (29) Annual leave

1. Without prejudice to the rights accruing to the worker prior to the entry into force of this Decree-Law, the worker shall be entitled to a paid annual leave of not less than:

a. 30 days a year for each year of service.

b. Two days per month, where the period of service is more than six months and less than one year.

c. A leave for the fractions of the last year of service, in the event of end of his service before the use of his annual leave balance.

2. Part-time worker shall be entitled to an annual leave according to the actual hours spent by the worker in the service of the employer; such period should be determined in the employment contract, as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree Law.

3. The employer may agree to grant the worker a leave from his annual leave balance during the Probation Period, and the worker reserves his right to compensation for the outstanding annual leave balance, if he does not successfully complete the Probation Period.

4. The worker shall use his leave in the year of entitlement. The employer may fix the dates of leave according to the work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or rotate leaves among workers for the smooth progress of work, and shall notify the worker of the date of his leave at least one month before the same.

5. A worker may, with the consent of the Employer and based on the Establishment bylaws, carry over his annual leave balance or days thereof to the next year.

6. The worker shall be entitled to be paid in respect of the period of annual leave.

7. Days off prescribed by law or agreement shall be counted in, and considered as part of the annual leave if they fall within the dates of annual leave, unless the employment contract or the establishment bylaws provide for something more beneficial to the worker.

8. The employer may not prevent the worker from using his accrued annual leave for more than two years, unless the worker wants to carry it over or be paid in lieu of leave according to the establishment bylaws and as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law.

9. A worker shall be entitled to be paid for his days of leave if he leaves work before the use thereof, irrespective of the length thereof, for the period for which he did not use his leave. The worker shall be entitled to the leave pay for the fractions of the year in proportion to the period of service, and the same is calculated on the basis of the basic wage.

10. The Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law shall determine the rules and conditions regulating the leaves and payment thereof.

This story was first published on November 23, 2021 and has been updated since.