UAE: Can I carry forward 45 days of annual leave accumulated over 3 years?

In the Emirates, an employee is entitled to 30 days of annual leave in a year

by

Ashish Mehta

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

File photo
File photo

Published: Sun 3 Sep 2023, 8:23 AM

Last updated: Sun 3 Sep 2023, 10:32 PM

Question: I work in a mainland company and have three years of annual leave pending. Can I carry forward 45 (15x3) days? How does it work?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you have not availed annual leave for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 (current year). Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations 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, an employee is entitled to 30 days of annual leave in a year. This is in accordance with Article 29(1) of the Employment Law, which states, “Without prejudice to the rights accruing to the employee prior to the entry into force of this Decree-Law, the employee shall be entitled to a paid annual leave of not less than:

a. (30) days a year for each year of service.”


Moreover, an employee may carry forward 15 days of his or her annual leave to a subsequent year. This is in accordance with Article 19 of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of clauses 8 and 9 of Article 29 of the Decree Law:

1. The employee may carry forward not more than half of the annual leave to the following year, or he may agree with the employer to receive a cash allowance thereof, according to the salary he received at the time of his entitlement to the leave.

2. If the employee's service ends, he shall be paid a cash allowance for the balance of his legally due annual leave, according to the basic salary.”

However, the Employment Law and subsequent ministerial resolutions are silent on an employee using full accumulated annual leave which is already carried forward from preceding years. Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you may carry forward half of your current year’s (2023) annual leave to the subsequent year (2024). However, you may receive cash against leave not availed based on your basic salary at the end of your employment with the current employer, for the preceding years (2021 and 2022) as mentioned in aforesaid Article 19(2) of the Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022,

Moreover, you may request your employer to allow you to avail carried forward annual leave which is not availed by you. If your employer agrees on the same, you may consider availing such annual leave.

In continuance, if your employer applies its HR policy related to employees’ affairs you may check if the said HR policy includes terms related to carry forwarding annual leave and the utilisation of the same by its employees. If so, you may consider availing of annual leave or carry forward the annual leave as per the HR policy of your employer. However, any HR policy or internal policies of your employer should be in accordance with provisions of the Employment Law and its subsequent ministerial resolutions or it should be more advantageous to the employee. This is in accordance with Article 65(4) of the Employment Law, which states, “The Employer may establish and put in place organisations bylaws and programmes in the establishment that would be more beneficial to the employee than those prescribed in this Decree-Law and its executive regulations. In the event of a conflict between such programmes and bylaws and the provisions of this decree-law, conditions that are more beneficial to the employee shall apply.”

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: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

ALSO READ:


More news from UAE