UAE issues clarification on annual leave

ahmed atef - | Arab News

Today, the Emirates responded to some citizens' questions about annual leave and how many days are allowed.

In Dubai, I work for a private company. I've taken more than 50 days of leave. Next year, I plan to take a two-month leave to build a house in my home country. Is it legal for employees in the UAE to take two months off at a time?

Answer: Based on your inquiries, it is considered that you work full-time for a private company in mainland Dubai. As a result, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on Employment Relations Regulation and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on Employment Relations Regulation apply.

Employees in the UAE are entitled to 30 calendar days of yearly leave for each year of service. This is in accordance with Employment Law Article 29(1)(a), 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: - (30) thirty days a year for each year of service."

clarification on annual leave in uae
annual leave

The number of annual leave days in the UAE

Furthermore, an employer may arrange an employee's annual leave when it is due based on work requirements and should notify the employee at least one month in advance for approval of the employee's annual leave. This is in compliance with Employment Law Article 29(4), which stipulates, "The employee shall use his leave in the year of entitlement." The employer may establish the dates of leave based on work requirements and in agreement with the employee, or rotate leaves among employees for the smooth progression of work, and shall notify the employee of the date of his leave at least (1) one month in advance."

If an employer does not offer annual leave to an employee in the current year, the employer is required to grant annual leave to the employee at least once every two years unless the employee prefers to carry the leave forward or get cash in lieu of leave. This is in accordance with Article 29(8) of the Employment Law, which states that "the Employer may not prevent the employee from using his accrued annual leave for more than two years unless the employee wants to carry it over or be paid in lieu of leave according to the Establishment bylaws and as specified by the Executive Regulations of this Decree-Law."

If an employee chooses not to take annual leave in the current year, he or she may carry forward only 15 days of that year's annual leave to the following year or agree with the employer to receive cash in lieu of annual leave based on the number of annual leave days not taken in the current year. Article 19(1) of Cabinet Resolution No.1 of 2022 states, "Subject to the terms of Clauses (8) and (9) of Article (29) of the Decree-Law:

- The employee may carry forward no more than half of the annual leave to the next year, or he may negotiate with the employer to receive a cash allowance based on his pay at the time of his leave entitlement."

According to the aforementioned legal limitations, you as an employee may only take up to 45 days of annual leave in the next year, rather than the anticipated 60 days. Your proposed annual leave for next year will be calculated as (i) 30 days of annual leave that you are entitled to next year and (ii) a maximum of 15 days of annual leave for the current (this) year that is carried forward to the following year. If your company does not provide you annual leave this year, you may take up to 60 days of annual leave next year, which is a mix of 30 days for the current year and 30 days for the following year.

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ahmed atef
ahmed atef
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