UAE jobs: Nine types of leaves employees can avail

Here is a list of leaves that residents and nationals can apply for


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 10:08 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 3:45 PM

People in the UAE have the option to apply for various types of leaves, including the newly-introduced compassionate or bereavement leave.

Employees, students and parents can benefit from nine types of leaves and entitlement such as performing Haj, looking after the newly-born child and compassionate leave in case of the death of close family members.

Interestingly, bereavement leave, parental leave, annual leave and unpaid leave may be combined by the employee in consultation with the employer.

Below is the list of leaves that UAE residents and nationals can avail.

1. Student leave: An employee who is studying in one of the UAE’s educational institutions is entitled to a paid leave of 10 days per year to sit for examinations. In order to be eligible to apply, the employee must have completed at least two years of service with the employer.

2. Sick leave: Employees can take up to 90 days of sick leave per year after the probationary period. it can be continuous or intermittent and the employee is required to inform the employer within three days along with a medical report. The employee is entitled to full pay for 15 days, half pay for the next 30 days and without pay for 45 days. However, the employee is not eligible for paid sick leave during the probation period, illness caused by the worker’s misconduct (consumption of alcohol or drugs, traffic violation etc.), or employee violated the safety rules. The employer cannot terminate an employee during sick leave, but only if the worker fails to return after the medical leave.

3. Annual leave: Since most of the workers are foreigners in the country, annual leave is important as they all look forward to go and meet their loved ones. UAE employees can apply for an annual leave after six months of joining the company. They can get 30-day paid leave after one year but two days in a month if they have completed six months but not one year.

However, part-time workers are entitled to annual leave based on the contract signed with the employer. The worker may carry forward not more than half of the annual leave to the following year, or he can agree with the employer to receive a cash allowance thereof. If the resigns or is terminated, he/she shall be paid a cash allowance for the remaining annual leave, according to the basic wage.

4. Hajj/Umrah leave: Employers can grant a special leave to perform Haj (a pilgrimage to Makkah for Muslims) which may not exceed 30 days. It is granted only once during the employment duration with the company.

However, the UAE Labour Law does not have any provisions which entitle the employee for Umrah leave. It is up to the employer to consent and deduct from the employee’s annual leave or consider unpaid leave.

5. Parental leave: The worker in the private sector is entitled to five working days of paid leave, provided that he submits proof of the birth of his child. The leave can be availed from the date of the child’s birth until the completion of six months.

6. Maternity leave: Female workers can avail 60-day leave of which 45 days will be fully-paid leave while 15 days will be half-paid. However, expectant mothers should apply for leave up to 30 days prior to the expected date of delivery. The mother can apply for 45-day unpaid leave if she is unable to resume work due to illness and problems related to pregnancy or childbirth. The female workers can take an additional 30-day paid leave if the baby is sick or suffers from a disability. This leave can be extended for another 30 days, but without pay.

7. Compassionate or bereavement leave: An employee can apply for a five-day paid leave in the event of the death of a spouse and a paid leave of three days for the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandchild or grandparent. The leave starts from the date of the death and the employee is required to provide proof of death after returning to work.

8. Official leaves and vacations: The UAE labour law states that employees of the private sector are entitled to at least one day of paid rest per week. The company can increase the number of weekly rest days. Additionally, employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays such as New Year, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and others.

9. Sabbatical leave: The UAE citizens are entitled to a sabbatical leave to perform national and reserve service, in accordance with the laws and regulations in the country.


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