Most of the companies in the UAE follow the Annual Leave Policy in accordance with Article 75 of the Employment Law i.e. every worker shall, within each year of service, be granted a period of annual leave of not less than two a month, where the worker’s period of service is more than six a month but less than one year; 30 days a year.
In principle, the 30 days leave referred to as 30 calendar days which includes weekend and public holidays which may fall in during the Annual Leave. Sighting the changing employees’ expectations for better work-life balance and flexibility in availing leaves, annual leave policy on calendar days presents significant challenges for both employer and employee.
The 30 calendar days leave policy is adopted by business with an assumption that the employee will travel for annual leave on completion of a year, this may not be an apt assumption for companies who provide the flexibility of availing annual leave to their employees.
Further, the Public Holiday dates in the UAE are not fixed as it depends on moon sighting. In such cases, holiday dates may change making it difficult for employees to plan a short vacation during public holidays, in some incidences they may end up losing 2-4 days of annual leave if the actual dates of holidays are a day earlier or later as the travel plan was made on presumed dates. It has thus been proven to be one of the avoidable situations that causes dissatisfaction among all.
A solution to this could be found in making a shift from Calendar Days to Working Days Leave Policy – where employees do not have to bother planning their leaves keeping under consideration the weekly offs and public holidays. Moving from 30 calendar days Policy to 22 working day policy also makes financial sense to companies, as in the case of leave encashment of accrued leaves.