Types of Leaves for Private Sector Employees





Expats in the UAE are entitled to different types of leaves. If you are currently in this country and you are working for a private employer, you will have the privilege to use your leave for a vacation. You will have more time for yourself and for your family even if you are packed with work during your 9-6 job. Expats should use and enjoy this right as much as they can. After all, we should always aim for work-life balance.

Also Read: 10 Things to Know Before Working in the United Arab Emirates

Leaves in the UAE are usually paid. Employees can enjoy extra days off while receiving the same benefit and compensation during working days. It’s also stated in the UAE Labour Law that all expats in the private sector are entitled to such privilege unless there are certain conditions that prohibit them to enjoy the paid days. If your employer is not disclosing this to you, especially during the job offer, it’s better to evaluate your decisions or talk to your company about such leaves. Read your employment contract as well to find out what are the available days so you can plan your vacation ahead of time.

types of leave for private sector

For those who are wondering what are the types of leaves for private sector employees, here’s what you need to know.

Types of Leaves in the UAE

Annual Leave

Annual leave is what a private employee gets when he/she is working for a company or employer in the UAE. So, if you are an expat working in the country, you are always given the privilege to take your annual leaves.

The number of annual leaves depends on the length of service already incurred by the employee. There are 2 annual leave days per month if you have completed at least six months but less than a year working for an employer. If you have been with your company for one year or more, you are entitled to 30 annual leave days.

Note: Usually for many employees working in the hospitality and F&B industry, working as domestic workers, or those in retail, they usually tend to combine the 30 days leave and use it as an opportunity to go back to their home countries for vacations. So it is normal for many workers not to utilize their leaves until it accumulates to one year’s worth.

Note that the calculation of the duration of annual leaves in the UAE includes the official holiday stated by law or other sick leaves that may fall under annual leave.

Provision on Annual Leave

  • You are entitled to receive your basic salary on top of your housing allowance, if any, during your annual leave.
  • Your employer can request you to work during your annual leave but you should be paid based on your salary plus leave allowance. Once you’ve worked during your annual leave, these days will not be carried forward next year.
  • Annual leaves can only be carried forward once within two consecutive years.
  • Your employer may determine the date of your annual leave or may divide it into two or more periods.
  • Your employer should make an advance payment on your annual leave before you take it.
  • You will be entitled to compensation equivalent to your unused annual leaves.

Bereavement Leave

Unluckily, the labour law does not state anything about bereavement leave, which is typically given to employees when an immediate family (first-degree relative or second-degree relative) dies. But since there is no law supporting this leave, you can request a day off from your employer, which will be deducted from your annual leave or which can be considered as unpaid leave. This should be agreed upon with your employer.

Hajj and Umrah Leave

Hajj leaves are given to employees to give them the privilege to take a special leave for the performance of Hajj. This is typically given without pay, may exceed 30 days, and only granted once in the entire employment with the company.

Umrah Leave, on the other hand, can be taken and it’s on the discretion of the employer whether to give it to the employee or not since the UAE government did not say any specific provisions with regards to this leave. This may be taken without pay or may be deducted from your annual leave.

Maternity Leave

A woman expat is entitled to a maternity leave of 45 days. This can be taken before or after the date of delivery. If an employee completes one year of service for the same employer, she will be entitled to full pay. Else, she will only receive half pay. Additionally, you are entitled to two additional breaks a day for nursing. These should not exceed 30 minutes and should be continued for 18 months after the delivery of her baby.

Paternity leave is not discussed in the UAE Labour Law.

Official Leaves and Vacations

For all expats working in the UAE, your official weekend is on Friday with an exception for daily wage workers. Your employer may request you to work overtime during Fridays but you should be paid your basic salary plus 50% of that.

If your employer asks you to work during holidays or leaves, you should be given another day in replacement of that leave, plus 50% of your basic pay. If you will not be granted a replacement leave, you will receive compensation equal to your basic salary plus 50% of the amount.

Sick Leave as per the UAE Labour Law

You will be entitled 90 days of sick leave if you have worked for your employer for at least 3 months after the probation period. Your sick leaves can be continuous or periodic and the payment for those days differs. For the first 15 days, you will receive full pay. For the next 30 days, you will receive half pay. For the next 45 days, you will receive no pay. Note that your employer can still subject you to certain conditions.

Provisions on Sick Leave

  • You should notify your employer of your sick leave within two days. Your employer can do assessments to verify if your medical condition is valid and to prove the authenticity of your leave. You will be asked to submit a medical report to justify your absence and include it in the calculation of your salary.
  • You will be ineligible for paid sick leaves if you are under probationary, you are working for another employer during your sick leave, and your illness arises from your misconduct or due to the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
  • An employer has no right to terminate employees because of sick leaves. Even if you consume all the 90 days and come back afterward, it’s okay. But if you don’t come to work after 90 days without notice, your employer may terminate you from your work. You will still receive your end of service gratuity pay in this case.
  • You can resign from work because of your illness before the expiration of the first 45 days of your sick leaves, provided that a physician recognized by your employer consents to the said cause of resignation. Under this case, your employer should pay you the amount equivalent to the next 45 days of sick leave.

Different leaves exist for expats in the UAE. You should be aware of it since it’s one of the greatest benefits you can receive in the country. These leaves may serve as your rest days, which you can use to take a vacation and rest from working. If you know any expat in the UAE who should know this, don’t hesitate to share this with him/her.

Disclaimer: UAELabour.org is an informational site only and should serve as a guide. For updated details and policies, always contact proper authorities for assistance. If you are facing challenges at your work, please contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) or previously known as UAE Ministry of Labour for guidance. You may also seek help from a lawyer regarding your case.

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