UAE: Can employers deduct employee's salary for absence due to heavy rains?

What happens if the employee fails to perform his duties due to circumstances beyond his control?


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 28 Apr 2024, 9:24 AM

Last updated: Sun 28 Apr 2024, 10:06 PM

Question: Can my company deduct my salary for being unable to report to work during the heavy rains and subsequent floods that happened last week? If our boss does, can we complain? Please advise. We work in a mainland Dubai company and stay in Sharjah. We were unable to report to the office last week because of the rains.

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Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that the nature of your work requires your physical presence in the workplace/office of your employer. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.

In the UAE, during unstable weather or when a forecast is issued by the National Meteorology Center (NCM) , the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) may advise employers to opt for remote working options or grant employees paid leaves. This is in accordance to Article 36 of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of the Employment Law and this Resolution:

1. In extraordinary emergency situations, as determined by a Cabinet Resolution, work measures that are commensurate with the circumstances of those cases may be applied, taking into account the interests of all the parties to the employment relationship. Such measures shall include without being limited to the following:

a. Applying the remote work system.

b. Granting the employee paid leave

c. Granting the employee unpaid leave.

d. Reducing the employee's salary.”

Furthermore, an employer may consider accommodating an employee if the latter reports late to work due to unstable weather. This is in accordance with Article 15(1)(a) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of Article 17 of the Employment Law:

1. The period spent by the employee commuting between his place of residence and the workplace shall be counted within the working hours in the following cases:

a. any delay to the employee in transit in case of bad weather and in response to the warning of the National Centre of Meteorology regarding weather changes and fluctuations.”

Moreover, if there are reasons beyond the employer's control (force majeure circumstances such as heavy rain, emergency situations) that render them unable to have regular operations, the employer may inform the employee and assure payment of salary for such period and days. This is in accordance with Article 17(2) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of Article 26 of the Employment Law

- If the failure to enable the employee to perform his work is due to circumstances beyond the employer's control, the employer shall inform the employee thereof along with guaranteeing the payment of his salary.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, as you are not able to travel to your office and work due to genuine reasons which were beyond your control, your employer should not deduct your salary.

However, as an employee, you must inform your employer about your situation by providing photos and document evidence to your employer, to show the reasons why you were not able to travel to work. It may be due to heavy rains or water logging in the locality where you reside. If your employer deducts your salary for not coming to work due to the recent heavy rain and water-logging situation, you may file a complaint against your employer with the MoHRE.

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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