New UAE labour rules: Same leaves for the public and private sectors

New regulations will unify both federal government and private sectors


Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Mon 13 Dec 2021, 12:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 1:55 PM

Public and private sector employees will be entitled to the same types of leaves under the new unified general regulations announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation on Monday.

The new regulations, under the Federal Decree Law no. 47 of 2021, aim to unify the public and private sectors to build an integrated, sustainable and competitive labour market that grants the same rights to employees across the country.

Starting from February 2, 2022, employees across the country will obtain annual, maternity, paternity, mourning and study leaves.


Annual leaves: Full-time public and private sector employees are entitled to a 30-day annual leave every year. Once employees complete six months of employment, they are entitled to two paid days off for every month before the completion of the year.

Maternity leave: In both sectors, the maternity leave will be 60 days, including 45 days at full pay, with an additional 15 days at half pay. Once back to work, new mothers are entitled to one hour a day for breastfeeding for six months from giving birth.

Female employees can choose to combine their maternity leave with any other approved holiday, and employers cannot terminate an employee for taking maternity leave.

Paternity leave: Men can claim a five-day paternity leave to be used consecutively or throughout the first six months of the baby’s birth.

Mourning leave: Employees are entitled 5 days off upon the death of a spouse and 3 days off upon the death of a direct family member.


Sick leave: employees are entitled at least 90 days of sick leave a year, including 15 paid days, 30 days at half pay and the remaining period unpaid.

Study leave: Employees enrolled in an UAE-accredited educational institution or university inside or outside the country are entitled to 10 days off a year for exams.

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