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Only a mutual agreement can push back annual leave beyond two years, according to the new UAE Labour Law. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Pexels

Question: I have been working in a private company for two years with a salary and commission. Last year my employer did not allow me to take my annual leave and now he is also asking me to postpone my annual leave for next year. According to the new labour law, does the employer have the right to postpone my annual leave more than once? Also, currently, I am entitled to the commission, but the employer refuses to pay the commission on the grounds that the commission is not stipulated in the internal contract, it is only stipulated in the contract approved by the Ministry. According to the employer, the internal contract is the one in force in the company. How can I claim my right to the commission? Am I legally entitled to claim it? Please advise.

Answer: As per Article 29 of the new Labour Law, the employer may request the employee to postpone his annual leave according to work requirements but he may not prevent the employee from benefiting from his annual leave accrued for more than two years, unless the worker agrees.

The mentioned Article states that “The worker shall obtain his leave in its entitlement year and the employer may specify the dates of these leaves according to work requirements and in agreement with the worker, or grant them alternately among the establishment’s workers, in order to secure its work progress. The employer shall notify the worker of the specified date for his leave within a sufficient time of not less than a month. The employer may not prevent the worker from benefiting from his annual leave accrued for more than two years, unless the worker wishes to carry it forward or receive a cash allowance for it, in accordance with the regulations in force at the establishment and the Implementing Regulation.”

Right to commission

On the second question, you have the right to take this commission since it is agreed upon in the Ministry contract which reflects the intention of both parties and which was signed after the internal contract. Signing the Ministry contract can be considered by the court as an amendment to the internal contract. You should request this commission formally, through an email or any other way that shows a direct request even if the employer says that the internal contract supersedes any other contract. The employer’s words should not be counted if the internal contract doesn’t state such a condition. Even if such a condition exists in the internal contract, you will also have the right to request for this commission as per the ministry contract and in case the employer rejects to give you the commission, then you have the right to file a complaint in the Ministry of Labour and the court will take the decision after estimating the two contracts and the circumstances.

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It is decided by Dubai Higher Court in the Cassation no. 73/2017 labor that “in the event of multiple agreements between the two parties on one subject and in the event of their conflict, the subsequent agreement supersedes the previous one.” It is also decided that the subsequent contract supersedes the previous contract in terms of its violation when the new (subsequent) contract has reorganised the relationship between the two parties considering that the reorganisation of the relationship between them under the subsequent contract indicates that they intended to exclude what was stipulated in the previous contract of violated terms.” (Cassation no. 30/2017 labour law0