Types of leave in the UAE

HR MATTERS | January 01, 2022

In the UAE, an expatriate employee is eligible for paid annual, sick, maternity, paternity, parental, bereavement and study leaves.

Annual Leave:

Annual leave entitlement remains the same under the New Labour Law. A full-time employee is entailed to 30 days paid annual leave per annum once they have completed one year of continuous service, or two days per month if their service is more than 6 months and less than one year.

In addition, the new labour law allows for leave to be taken during the probationary period on an accrual basis.

Sick Leave:

Once an employee has competed their probationary period, they are entailed to sick leave of no more than 90 days per year. The 90 days’ sick leave can be continuous or intermittent, and the salary is paid as follows:

  • Full-pay for the first 15 days
  • Half-pay for the next 30 days (day 16 to 45)
  • The remaining 45 days will be unpaid sick leave (day 46 to 90)

During an employee’s probation period, they may get sick leave however, it will be unpaid and subject to the approval of their employer as well as based on a medical report issued by the medical entity that stipulates the necessity of the leave.

Note: The above provisions are subject to conditions and do not apply to sick leave because of occupational illness.

Maternity & Paternity Leave:

The UAE has given greater rights to new mothers with this labour law to provide mothers with a minimum of 45 days at full pay with an additional 15 days at 50% pay. However, if further leave is desired, an additional 45 days can be taken without pay (unpaid leave).

In the event of complications post-partum or the delivery of a child with disability or illness, the mother is entitled to an additional 30 days at full pay which can be extended for another 30 days without pay (unpaid leave).

The new law stipulates that a working woman is still entitled to her maternity leave in the event of a still birth at any point from six months of the pregnancy onwards. This also applies if the baby is deceased at any point within the maternity leave period.

The new law also states that men in the private sector can claim five days paternity leave in the first six months of the birth of their child. This was previously the case in some emirates but is now a federal law.

Parental Leave:

An employee (both Mother and Father) who has a newly born child is entitled to 5 working days parental leave. The 5 days’ parental leave can be continuous or intermittent, and taken withinin the first six months of the birth of their child.

Bereavement Leave:

This leave is also known as “compassionate leave”.

Depending on the nature of the relationship between the employee and the deceased, an employee of the private sector is entitled to the following paid bereavement leave:

  • Up to 5 days in the event of the death of spouse and
  • Up to 3 days paid leave in the event of the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent

Study Leave:

Study leave will now be available for those who have completed more than 2 years with an employer. They will be entitled up to 10 working days study leave per year when then are enrolled with an accredited institution within the UAE.

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