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Everything you need to know about annual leave according to the UAE Labour Law

Understanding the UAE Labour Law could be challenging for foreigner investors. As a business owner, you know that you have to comply with the rules but sometimes it could be challenging. Particularly when there are provisions that may be hard to understand such as annual leave.

Both employees and employers need to know how to address these topics if they want to have a healthy work relationship. With the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations had to learn about the employment law and for this reason it’s important that you understand it with advance, in case you face uncertain times.

In this article, you’re going to learn about how to deal with the annual leave of your employees. In addition, you’re going to get answers to the most common questions related to this matter. Let’s observe:

  • Everything you need to know about annual leave according to the UAE Labour Law
  • What is an annual leave?
  • What are the leave entitlements of an employee?
  • How are official holidays and annual leave related?
  • How about the wages and payments during the annual leave?
  • Who determines the duration for the annual leave?
  • What happens in case of dismissal or termination?
  • How can Connect Resources help you with your workforce?

1. Everything you need to know about annual leave according to the UAE Labour Law

The annual leave is specified in the UAE Labour Law, and as an employer, you should know about it. Perhaps you don’t have a legal team that advises you in this matter, but you must take it into account if you want to decrease the risk of having issues with your employees.

It’s important that employees and employers are well-informed regarding the Labor Law. Employees need to know it because this way they can comply with the regulations correctly. And employers need to be aware of it so they respect their employees’ rights when it comes to annual leave.

However, sometimes there are many doubts about it. For this reason, it’s important to have a team of specialists that can analyze and understand the provisions. This way, the HR team will know how to handle this matter.

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1.1 Where can you find the provisions of the annual leave in the Labor Law?

Before starting to analyze the annual leave, it’s important to know where you can find the rights, rules and provisions of this matter. You should review the Articles 74 to 81 of the Federal Law 8 (1980) of the UAE Labour Law carefully if you want to understand how to deal with this.

The UAE Labour Law resignation is also a common topic, and employers need to know how they can address it when the time comes.

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1.2 Why should you know about the provisions of the annual leave?

As an employer, you may think that it’s not necessary to learn about the annual leave. However, if you want to open a branch or an office in the UAE, it’s important for you to follow the rules strictly.

The following are the reasons why you should make an effort to understand the provisions in the Labor Law:

  • Write contracts in compliance with the laws and regulations
  • Know your employees’ rights and duties in terms of their annual leave
  • Plan your manpower accordingly when some of your employees have to take their annual leave

Foreigner business owners may not understand how to practice the annual leave in the UAE. This is something that varies from country to country. If you’d like to get assistance in this matter, you can contact Connect Resources to get an HR consultancy service that clarifies all of your doubts.

2. What is an annual leave?

Everything you need to know about annual leave according to the UAE Labour Law

Before analyzing the provisions, you must understand, it’s essential to know what the annual leave is. Basically, is a paid period that companies grant to their employees. The employee may decide the purpose to which they desire to use it, for example, they can use it to travel to their home country, for vacations, etc.

Therefore, it’s a time that many employees look forward to it, so as an employer, you must know how to deal with it.

3. What are the leave entitlements of an employee?

Each employee is entitled to an annual leave for each year of service; however, it’s based on length of service. The provision about this is in the Article 75 of the Labor Law. For this reason, we have the following leave entitlements:

  • If the employee has been working for more than six months but less than a year: minimum of two days paid leave for every month.
  • If the employee has been working for more than a year: 30 days off annually.

It’s important to note that these 30 days of annual leave is the minimum requirement. In addition, it could include public holidays and/or weekends if they fall within these 30 days. But each company has its own policies so the employer should decide if the employee will receive these additional leave days.

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4. How are official holidays and annual leave related?

Holidays are also an important part of the annual leave, since each employee is entitled to official holidays according to the UAE Labour Law. The following are the official holidays in the UAE:

  • New Year
  • Eid Al Fitr
  • Arafat Day
  • Eid Al Adha
  • Hijri New Year
  • Commemoration Day
  • National Day

Some of these holidays have fixed days, for example New Year is on January 1st, but others change every year, so you should be aware when they’re celebrated.

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4.1 What happens if there’s a public holiday during the annual leave?

A common question that many employees have is regarding a public holiday during their annual leave. According to the Article 77 of the Labor Law, the public holiday is part of the annual leave if it occurs during the leave.

However, it’s at a company’s discretion. If you as an employer want to give your employees additional days, then there’s no problem with it.

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5. How about the wages and payments during the annual leave?

How about the wages and payments during the annual leave?

Another important aspect related with the annual leave is the payments. Employees may have several questions regarding this matter. In addition, employers should also know about it if they don’t want to have any issues with their workers.

5.1 Is the UAE annual leave paid?

According to the Article 78, the worker gets paid for the annual leave. They should receive a basic wage and a housing allowance, according to the UAE Labour Law. These should be for the days of the annual leave.

5.2 When does the employee get paid for the annual leave?

The employee should receive the payment before taking the annual leave. This is provided in the Article 78 of the Law. The employer must pay the entire wage prior to the annual leave, including the leave pay.

5.3 Should the employee get a flight ticket for the annual leave?

Since many employees in the UAE are expats, they may want to use their annual leave to visit their home country. However, they should know that according to the Law, they’re not entitled to a flight ticket.

But, if the company’s policies establish that the employee can receive a flight ticket, then they have to do it. The law doesn’t force companies to issue flight tickets to their employees.

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6. Who determines the duration for the annual leave?

UAE Labour Law

Since the employee is entitled to the annual leave according to the UAE Labour Law, it’s necessary to know if they can decide the duration.

According to the law, we have the following regarding the start date of the annual leave:

  • The employee has the right to determine when his or her annual leave starts. He or she also has the right to decide if the annual leave is divided into two sections.
  • Employer can determine the beginning of the annual leave, and may divide it if necessary, to two or more periods.

It’s a matter that the employee and employer have to discuss, so it’s best to reach an agreement that benefits both parties.

Once we know that the employer is in charge of determining the duration, they should follow the guidelines established in the UAE Labour Law regarding the number of days their employees are entitled to.

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7. What happens in case of dismissal or termination?

The questions regarding the annual leave when it comes to UAE Labour Law termination are very common too. There are several doubts that need to be clarified regarding dismissal or termination.

7.1 Does the employee receive payment if he or she leaves work or gets dismissed?

In accordance with UAE Labour Law resignation, if the employee leaves work or gets dismissed, he or she is entitled to receive the sum for accrued annual leave days, in accordance with Article 79.

7.2 Can the employee be dismissed during annual leave?

Many employees may not want to take their annual leave because they don’t want to get dismissed during that time. However, it’s important to note that the employer can’t dismiss the employee during the annual leave. If the employer does this, the employee may take legal actions against the organization.

For this reason, as an employer, you should know how to treat dismissals so you don’t incur in any liabilities.

7.3 What happens if the employee doesn’t get back to work right after the annual leave?

If the employee takes her or his annual leave, they should report immediately when it ends. But, if they don’t do it, they don’t have the right to get to any pay when they’re absent. In accordance with Article 89, the employee won’t get the wage for the period of his or her absence. It’s important to note that these apply to the days that follows to the end of the annual leave.

7.4 What about employee termination and annual leave?

An employee should receive the payment of their annual leave if they terminate their services, but he or she receives the wages for the annual leave that he or she haven’t taken.

So, when it comes to the UAE Labour Law termination, it’s essential to revise the company’s policies to determine how to act regarding this matter.

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7.5 May the employee work for another company during the annual leave?

Employees have to be careful with this, since according to Article 88, employees may not work for another employer during the annual leave. If the employee does it, the employer has the right to terminate the employment relationship without notice and deprives them of their wage.

8. How can Connect Resources help you with your workforce?

Connect Resources

Here in Connect Resources we want to assist you with your HR-related tasks. If you’re not sure about how to deal with laws and regulations, our team of experts can help you. Whether you’re struggling to comply with employment rules or you don’t know how to handle your workforce, we’re here to give you a proper solution.

We have been providing our consultancy and outsourcing service for the past two decades, so we have enough experience to deal with your particular needs. Our specialists will offer you a comprehensive service so you won’t have to worry about anything. Trust in our comprehensive service to get the results that you expect.

Would you like to contact Connect Resources for HR Outsourcing Services? You can call at +971 433 166 88 or send an email to contact@connectresources.ae, and you’ll talk to one of their representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.

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