UAE law: Can I take a sick leave during my notice period?


Dubai - You may request your employer to grant you sick leave during the notice period if you are in serious need of urgent medical attention

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By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 24 Oct 2021, 11:22 AM

Question: I resigned from my current job on October 10. I need to serve notice till November 10. However, I need to undergo an emergency procedure which would mean I need a one-week leave. During the notice period, will the sick leave be acceptable, or should I work the full 30-day period?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed by a mainland company in the UAE, Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') are applicable.

It should be noted that in the UAE, an employee who intends to resign from employment needs to serve a notice period in accordance with the employment contract. During the notice period, he or she should work on all the working days and may not avail of any other leave.

If an employee avails of leave during the notice period, he or she may have to compensate the employer monetarily. This is in accordance with Article 119 of the Employment Law, which states, "If the employer or the employee has failed to serve notice to the other party for termination of the contract or has reduced the notice period, the party obliged to serve the notice shall pay to the other party an indemnity called 'Compensation in lieu of notice', and it is incurred by the other party as a result of failure to give notice or for reduction of said period, and the indemnity shall be equal to the employee's pay for the notice period in full or in proportion to the diminished part. In regard to employees on monthly, weekly, daily or per hour work pay, the notice allowance shall be computed on the basis of the last pay earned by them. With regard to employees paid on piece work basis, the allowance shall be calculated on the basis of the average daily pay provided for in Article (57) hereof."

Therefore, based on the aforementioned provision of law, it is recommended that you work on all the working days during the notice period. However, you may request your employer to grant you sick leave during the notice period if you are in serious need of urgent medical attention. Based on your request, your employer may agree mutually with you to consider November 10, 2021 as your last working day, or it may allow you to avail of sick leave and serve the remaining notice period once you undergo your medical procedures and resume work to serve the remaining notice period.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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