UAE: Can I combine my Eid Al Fitr compensatory off with annual leave?

Residents in the Emirates were granted a four-day holiday during the Islamic festival

by

Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 30 Apr 2023, 10:28 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Apr 2023, 10:29 PM

Question: I am employed in a mainland company in Dubai. I worked over the Eid Al Fitr weekend, and I would like to know if I am allowed to combine the compensatory days off with my annual leave.

Answer: Since a mainland company employs you, 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 eligible for public holidays as per the announcements made by the relevant local authority and Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation. This is in accordance with Article 28 (1) of the Employment Law, which states, "The employee shall be entitled to official leave with full pay in public holidays determined by decision of the Cabinet."

However, Article 28(2) of the Employment Law, if the circumstances require an employee to work during public holidays, then an employee is eligible for compensatory leave for working on a public holiday(s) or salary for a normal working day along with an additional payment of 50 per cent on the basic salary of an employee.


The Employment Law and its subsequent ministerial decrees are silent related to combining compensatory leave with the annual leave of an employee. However, only unpaid leave, bereavement leave, and parental leave may be combined. This is in accordance with Article 21(4) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022.

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, you may not be legally eligible to avail your annual leave combined with your compensatory leave. It is up to your employer to decide if your annual leave and compensatory leave can be combined. Therefore, you may request your employer to combine your compensatory leave with your annual leave. However, if your employer's human resources (HR) policy states that annual leave and compensatory leave can be combined, then you combine both leaves. This is in accordance with Article 65(4) of the Employment Law, which states, "The Employer may establish and put in place organisation 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.

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