No specific provision for paternal leave

No specific provision for paternal leave

By Ashish Mehta

Published: Mon 8 Apr 2013, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:07 PM

I plan to go on paternity leave as my wife is expecting and is due in May. Is there a provision for such leave in the labour law? How many days can I apply for and will this affect my annual leave?

It is assumed that you are not employed by an entity incorporated in a free zone in the UAE and that your employment is governed by the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, relating to Regulation of Labour Relations.

Since there is no specific provision for paternal leave in the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 you may choose to avail your annual leave for the aforesaid purpose in accordance with the provisions of Article 75 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 which states: “Every worker shall, within each year of service, be granted a period of annual leave of not less than:

(a) two (days) a month, where the worker’s period of service is more than six months but less than one year; (b) 30 days a year, where the worker’s period of service is more than one year.

Where a worker’s service is terminated, he shall be entitled to annual leave in respect of fractions of the last year.”

However, your employer may allow you to avail your annual leave in two parts in accordance with Article 76, which states: “The employer may fix the date of commencement of annual leave and, if necessary, divide such leave into not more than two periods. (Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provision respecting the division of leave shall not apply to leave fixed for young persons.)”

In any case, you may check with your employer on its policy on paternal leave as Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 does not specifically deal with the issue of paternal leave.

Visa fees

I work as a Document Controller at a construction company in Fujairah. I have been working here for the past two years and my visa is for three years. I have now resigned giving 30 days’ notice, but they have allowed me to go after 45 days. They say they are also going to deduct my visa fees for 1 year from my final settlement. Please advise on what I should do?

You have not mentioned whether you are employed on a contract for a limited period or an unlimited period.

In the event you are employed on an employment contract for an unlimited period, you could terminate the contract by issuing 30 days’ written notice to your employer in accordance with Article 117(1) of the Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 which states: “Both the employer and the worker may terminate a contract of employment of unlimited duration for a valid reason at any time following its conclusion by giving the other party notice in writing at least 30 days before the termination.”

In the event you are employed on an employment contract for a limited period, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 do not specify the duration of the notice period required to terminate a limited period contract. Therefore, you should check the employment contract or the offer letter executed between you and your employer on the requirement of such notice period.

The prevailing laws do not permit your employer to deduct the cost of your employment visa from the final settlement amount due to you. Further, you are entitled to receive your full outstanding dues from your employer not later than the time your employer seeks your signature on the visa cancellation document.

You may file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour in the event your employer does not comply with the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating labour relations. Pursuant to this, the Ministry of Labour will call upon your employer to pay the final settlement amount.

In the event your employer fails to pay, you may seek a letter from the Ministry of Labour which will enable you to file a case against your employer.

End of service benefits

I work at a free zone company and I have resigned from my job. My contract indicates a start and end date for a period of three years. I have completed only one and a half years of service. Will I be entitled to end of service benefits (gratuity)? If so, will it be 21 days or 7 days? Further, should I pay for whatever the company has spent on my visa?

You have not mentioned the name of the free zone in the UAE where your employer is incorporated. Normally each free zone in the UAE has its own set of regulations to address employment related issues.

Assuming the regulations of the free zone where your employer is incorporated do not conflict with the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, you are not entitled to any end-of-service benefits in accordance with Article 138 of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 which states: “Where a worker who is bound by a contract for a limited period leaves his work of his own accord before the expiry of his contract period, he shall not be entitled to severance pay unless his continuous period of service exceeds five years.”

In accordance with the prevailing law, you are not required to reimburse your employer the changes incurred by your employer to obtain an employment visa for you.

Ashish Mehta, LLB, F.I.C.A., M.C.I.T., M.C.I.Arb., is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, a legal consultancy firm in Dubai. He also practises in India, United Kingdom and Singapore. He has worked with international and commercial legal procedures, providing analysis and counselling on complex legal documents and policies such as commercial transactions, securitisation, real estate acquisitions, financial restructuring for distressed assets, mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and litigation issues. Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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