New labor laws in the UAE: 6 types of paid leave explained – News

Can I combine paid and unpaid leave if I have an emergency?


Published: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 10:06

Question: I work in a company in mainland Dubai. I have to go on extended leave following an emergency at home. Could you explain the different types of paid leave that are available to employees? I would be grateful if you could also explain the rules regarding unpaid leave. Can I be fired for a long absence that combines both paid and unpaid leave?

Response: In accordance with your questions, the provisions of Federal Executive Order No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labor Relations (the “Employment Law”) and those of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 concerning the regulation of application of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labor Relations (“Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022) are applicable.

In the United Arab Emirates, an expatriate employee is entitled to paid annual, sick, maternity, parental, bereavement and study leave.

An employee is entitled to 30 calendar days of annual leave for each year of service completed. This is in line with Article 29 of the Employment Act, which states: “Without prejudice to the rights acquired by the employee before the entry into force of this Decree-Law, the employee is entitled to annual leave paid at least:

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

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

vs. A leave for fractions of the last year of service in the event of termination of service before the use of his annual leave balance.

Also, a pregnant woman in the UAE can get up to 60 days of paid maternity leave once she completes six months of pregnancy. This is in accordance with Section 30 (1) and (3) of the Employment Act.

An employee in the UAE is also entitled to 45 days paid sick leave as mentioned in Section 31(3) of the Employment Act.

Section 32 of the Employment Act provides that employees are entitled to five days of bereavement leave in the event of the death of a spouse; and three days in the event of the death of a parent, child, sibling, subordinates or grandchild.

In addition, an employee can benefit from five days of parental leave, which must be taken within six months from the date of birth.

The said article states that an employee can avail up to 10 days of study leave per year if he is a student at an educational institution in the UAE, provided that he has completed two years of service with the UAE. employer.

It should be noted that an employee in the UAE can be granted unpaid leave with the consent of his employer. This is in line with Section 33 of the Employment Act, which states:

“1. An employee may, with the consent of the employer, take a leave without pay, other than the leaves referred to herein.

2. The leave referred to in the above paragraph is not counted in the employee’s period of service with the employer and in the context of the pension plan according to the legislation in force in this area.


In addition, an employee may be permitted to combine bereavement, parental, annual and unpaid leave as referred to in Section 21(5) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022.

You cannot be fired if you and your employer have mutually agreed to your long-term leave until a specific date. However, you are required to return to employment once you have completed your long-term leave, as agreed with your employer.

Your employer may terminate your services without notice as mentioned in Section 44(8) of the Employment Act if you have not returned to work within seven days of the end of your agreed long-term leave from a common agreement.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the contact details of his office on: Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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