The UAE sick leave policy is an employment law that benefits both employees and employers. This is because it allows workers to recover from their illnesses and avoid infecting their colleagues. It is important to know that this license implies some responsibilities and obligations that must be met by the labor law of the country. In case you do not know what are the conditions and the procedure to access this permit; one recommendation is to look for a good staffing agency in UAE. They will help you understand the sickness policy.
In this article, we offer you a comprehensive guide to the UAE sick leave policy, based on current employment law. We will explain who has access to sick leave, how long it lasts, how salary is calculated, and what happens if it runs out. In addition, we will give you some tips to manage sick leave efficiently and avoid conflicts between the parties. In case you need professional advice on the subject, you can hire a recruitment agency in UAE.
Emergency Leave in the UAE: Explained
Unexpected things can happen to a friend or close relative at any time. An example of this could be an illness or death in a close family member, such as a parent or grandparent. In this situation, people want to be in those painful moments to help and support their family members during these difficult times.
Due to this situation, they develop the emergency license in the United Arab Emirates, which allows time off from work. In this way, the affected person can be absent from work for a while and support their family. However, while you can take time off for emergencies in the UAE, there is no guarantee that you will be paid for the duration of your leave.
It is important that the employee follow a series of steps to request emergency leave from their employer. Also, you must complete the application without any errors because this can lead to a denial by the employer. You must first inform your employer of all aspects of the emergency leave application.
After reporting, you must make an official request. However, this step is practically protocol, since your company must respond immediately. It is important that you maintain communication with your employer in order to dispel any doubts that may exist. Finally, it is important that you respect the established deadline, and if you need an extension, request it from the human resources team.
Emergency Leave Rights and Entitlements
UAE emergency leave has many reasons why an employee might apply for it. However, there are reasons why you can request this license and these are:
- Make any funeral arrangements for the death of a family member.
- Organize everything related to the care of a family member who is sick.
- Caring for a dependent family member.
- Accompany your partner during the time of giving birth.
- Register a birth.
- Solve any domestic problem, such as a plumbing problem.
In this emergency license, illnesses can also be due to physical or mental problems. In this way, the life of the other person should not always be in danger. Furthermore, there is no statutory term concerning this license, but it should be of a reasonable duration.
In certain situations, it will only take hours to attend to the emergency. However, there may be cases that require one or more days depending on the complexity of the matter. In this way, the time will depend on what your employer deems necessary after carefully studying all the problems that I raise.
The law does not require payment of emergency leave, but the employer may provide it if deemed necessary. In addition, the human resources department must make it clear if this leave is paid. Finally, employees should verify whether or not their employment contract states whether or not they receive paid emergency leave.
Sick Leave Entitlements in UAE
It is important to understand the basic employee rights in the UAE. In this way, you can learn more about the UAE sick leave policy. The annual leave UAE labor law 2023 establishes that employees have the right to fully paid holidays. Where, if they have completed one year of service, it is 30 days and if they have completed 6 months of service, but less than one year, it is 2 vacation days per month.
However, employees have access to sick leave for a maximum of 90 days in addition to annual vacation. In this way, following the sick leave rules in UAE, If the employee completes his probationary period, he can access the right to sick leave. Also, this 90-day leave can be on an intermittent or continuous basis.
To pay the salary you must use a specific method. The first payment is complete during the first fifteen days. Then for the next thirty days, you will receive half the payment, and the rest of the 45 days are without payment. On the other hand, the employee may obtain sick leave during the probationary period. However, they will not have a salary and must have the prior approval of the employer.
Some situations make employees ineligible for sick leave and they are:
- If the reason for the illness is due to employee misconduct, this means the consumption of drugs or alcohol.
- If the employer fails to comply with the safety instructions that are in the current legislation of the UAE. Also, if you do not comply with the provisions of the company regulations, of which you have information.
Monthly Sick Leave Limits and Maternity Leave Guidelines
Those employees who have been in the company for more than three months may have access to paid sick leave. In addition, they must present their medical certificate within 48 hours of the first day that the disease is presented. For this reason, according to the UAE labor law, the employee cannot dispose of sick leave without a medical certificate.
On the other hand, female employees have the right to a 60-day maternity leave. In this way, 45 days will be fully paid leave and the remaining 15 days will be half paid leave. In addition, the employee can request a maternity leave up to 30 days before the date on which her delivery is scheduled.
Apart from the maternity leave mentioned, you may take an additional 45 days if you suffer from an illness during pregnancy or childbirth. It is important to note that during these 45 days, you will not have any remuneration. In addition, the disease must be proven by means of a medical certificate issued by a competent medical authority.
If the baby suffers from a disability or an illness, he may enjoy additional licenses. In this case, it will be 30 days and they will be fully paid. In addition, you can extend this license for 30 days, but without salary. After the employee returns to work, she may have access to one or two additional breaks to be able to breastfeed your child and it cannot be more than one hour.
Balancing Work Hours: UAE Labour Law
According to the United Arab Emirates labor law, there are certain guidelines regarding the maximum number of working hours. In this way, the new working hours in UAE for the private sector were established at 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, those employees of hotels, restaurants, and commercial establishments, their schedule can reach 9 hours a day.
Similarly, in the case of work that is dangerous or harmful to health, the hours may be reduced. On the other hand, employees belonging to the public sector must work 7 hours a day. In addition, the time it takes the employee to travel from his residence to his workplace is not taken into account as a working day.
Regulations for Working Hours in UAE
Regarding the overtime rules in the UAE, many factors must be taken into account. First of all, overtime is when the employee works more hours than normal. In this way, you will receive a remuneration equal to your normal working day plus an extra that is at least 25% of this remuneration. If the overtime is between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., the extra will be at least 50%.
Actual overtime cannot exceed two hours per day unless the work is necessary. Now, in order to correctly perform the overtime calculation in UAE, certain things must be taken into account. As explained above, the salary will be the same plus an extra 25% and 50% in case of working between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
In this way, their salary amount will be 125% and 150% of the employee’s normal remuneration. On the other hand, Fridays are the normal weekly holiday for all employees. However, this is not the case for those employees who receive daily wages. In addition, if an employee must work on a Friday, they will be given a day off to rest or they will be paid their normal salary plus an extra 50%.
Working Hours as Per UAE Labour Law for Private Sector
The working hours in UAE labor law for the private sector as mentioned above; was set to 48 hours a week or 8 hours a day according to the UAE labor law. As is known, the UAE annual leave law 2023 establishes 30 vacation days for each year of service. However, these days do not cover public holidays as per the UAE Labor Law.
In this case, according to Article 65 of the UAE labor law, during Ramadan, the working hours are reduced to 2 hours. For this reason, it is important that when working in the UAE you consider how many hours you should dedicate to the job.
So in summary, you can realize important aspects. In the first instance, in the private sector, you work 48 hours or 8 hours a day and the week lasts 6 days. If you work in certain establishments such as hotels or restaurants, your working hours can be extended to 9 hours a day. Ultimately, it must be understood that it is prohibited to work more than 7 hours a day in unhealthy or painful jobs.
UAE Public Holidays as Per Labour Law
Currently, there are new holiday rules in UAE. There are two articles in the labor law in the UAE, which explain aspects of the festivities in the country. The first is Article 21; which establishes that private sector employees have access to at least one day of paid rest per week. This information must be present in the labor regulations of the company or the employment contract.
It is important to highlight that companies can increase the number of weekly rest days. In addition, all workers can enjoy paid vacations on public holidays. There is also the possibility that you work on summer days in the UAE. If that is your case, it is important to be aware of your rights regarding compensation.
Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 or Labor Law in the UAE; establishes very clear rules to compensate private sector workers who work on those holidays. You should know that there is an update in the regulations for the private sector of the country.
The second and last article that specifies aspects of the festivities in the country is 28. In particular, Article 28 establishes the conditions for employees who work on holidays. Before discussing Article 28, it should be clarified that it is important to note that certain conditions must be met for compensation to apply. For instance, the employer must require you to work on a holiday and you must have permission to do so.
In short, if the conditions of employment require you to work during a holiday; the employer will compensate you with another day for each day of work on the holiday. Otherwise, they will pay you the normal salary plus a compensation greater than 50% of the day’s salary.
Deciphering the UAE Sick Leave Policy
When it comes to the UAE sick leave policy, people often have a lot of questions. Employees especially, but employers also often want to clarify some aspects. For instance, one of the most frequently asked questions is how many sick leave per month in UAE. Another very common one is how you have to request to have access to this license. Like those, there are many similar ones.
Any employee who needs to apply for sick leave should be aware of all the terms of the sick leave. Especially, those conditions that are present in the employment contract. In addition, it is important to investigate what the law specifies regarding the subject. A good recommendation is to go to your employer and consult the regulations and provisions of the UAE sick leave policy.
That is why, below you will see all the key points and implications of the UAE sick leave policy. Among the most important aspects are, the requirements, the protection against dismissal, the payment, the duration, and more.
Key Components and Implications
Employees who have access to leave: Workers cannot request paid sick leave if they are in three particular situations.
The first is when employees are on a probation period. The second is if the disease is a direct consequence of the misconduct of the worker. For instance, consumption of drugs or alcohol. The third and last is when the employee does not comply with the safety instructions that exist in the current legislation in the UAE. Or, failing that, with the existing rules in the company regulations that the worker signed before starting work.
Employee Resignation During Sick Leave: Workers have the power to resign during sick leave. But, there are certain conditions that you must meet. In principle, any employee can resign due to illness. To do this, you have to do it before the first 45 days of sick leave expire.
On the other hand, if you decide to resign, the reason for the resignation must be supported by a doctor appointed by the company or one by the State. Finally, you have to know that the employer must pay the base salary to the employee for a maximum of 45 days.
Layoff of Employee During Sick Leave: Generally, an employee cannot be laid off during sick leave. However, certain conditions apply. The first is that, if the employee cannot report to work at the end of the leave; the employer has the option to fire you.
Also, any employer can fire an employee as long as evidence of absconding is provided. That is the absence of the employee without issuing information for a period of more than a week. Finally, if the employer discovers that the worker is working for another company during sick leave; you can proceed to fire him without prior notice.
Article 31 of UAE Labour Law: Impact on Sick Leave
In Article 31 of the UAE labor law, you will see different guidelines for calculating sick leave. Taking into account different crucial aspects. For instance, the method of calculating the corresponding remuneration.
First point: If an employee becomes ill with an illness that has nothing to do with work, they must immediately notify the employer. Otherwise, you can go to a representative or any superior who is at the time. This information must be submitted within the next three business days. In addition, you must present a medical report from a recognized medical institution that supports the condition.
Second aspect: During the trial period, employees cannot apply for paid sick leave. Without an employer, the employer has the power to grant unpaid sick leave. For this, the worker must have a medical report from a reputable medical institution.
Third aspect: At the end of the probationary period, employees can request a sick leave. This cannot exceed 90 days for each year of service. To calculate sick leave, the following guidelines must be followed:
- First 15 days, you will have access to the full salary.
- Next 30 days, the employee will have access to half the salary.
- Days longer than sick leave, the employee will not be paid.
- If the illness is the result of the worker’s misconduct, no salary will be paid during the sick leave.
Fourth aspect: Before taking sick leave, the employee must inform the employer about his illness within a maximum period of three days. In addition, the submission of a medical report from a reputable medical entity detailing the condition is crucial.
Fifth aspect: If the worker terminates his rights for sick leave and does not show up for work; the employer has the power to reserve the right to terminate your employment.
Adapting to Change: New Working Hours
All workers should be aware of the UAE labor law working hours. In Article 17, you can find all aspects of the Regulation of Labor Relations in the Private Sector. In particular, on the working hours of workers in the private sector. The working day is 8 hours a day, that is, during the week the employee has to work 48 hours a week. The exception that exists is during the holy month of Ramadan, in which it is reduced by 2 hours a day.
It is important to highlight that the working day can decrease or increase depending on the economic sector or the categories of workers. On the other hand, employers may require the worker to work overtime. The daily overtime limit is hours. If the employee makes use of overtime, the remuneration will be the base salary of a normal day plus 25% of that salary.
Government entities in the UAE have some changes in working hours. Currently, the work week will be four and a half days. Employees belonging to the public sector work eight hours from Monday to Thursday. The working day is from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. But, on Fridays, the work shift will be from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Finally, the official weekends are Saturdays and Sundays.
On the other hand, some industries have a four-day workweek and a three-day weekend. All employees can choose to complete their work hours in as little as four days. For this, they cannot work more than 10 hours per day as part of the intensive work hours. This will be known as the compressed work week.
Recent Changes and Considerations for the Private Sector
Recently, certain considerations have been made in the labor law in the United Arab Emirates. These changes require employers practicing in the UAE to implement the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the new law. To do this, they must review and improve their employment policies and practices.
Below, you will see a summary of the changes to the labor law for the private sector.
Trial period: Previously, it was a maximum of 6 months and they could not access severance pay during its course. Currently, the maximum trial period is 3 months and they are entitled to compensation. But, only in case there is an unfair dismissal during it.
Minimum Wage: Previously, there was no base minimum wage. With the new law, a minimum salary is established, which will be based on the professional category and nationality of the employee.
Parental leave: Generally, people ask how many days of maternity leave in UAE for the private sector. With the new labor law, there is a license for both parents, with a variable duration for different aspects. For instance, the gender and nationality of the employee.
Termination of the contract: In the old labor law, the termination of the contract was possible with or without just cause. The employee had to request prior notice and payment of compensation. Today this remains the same. However, there is greater protection for the employee and greater liability for the employer.
Resolution of labor disputes: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) and the labor courts were in charge of these matters. Now, it is the Labor Conciliation and Arbitration Center and the labor courts are the ones that take charge of these problems.
Mastering Sick Leave Rules in the UAE
All business owners and employers should be aware of the UAE sick leave policy. The reason is simple; You cannot fulfill something you do not know exists. It is of the utmost importance that you know all aspects of sick leave. In particular, all that includes Article 31 of the federal labor law in the UAE.
An example is that regardless of whether you are part of the public or private sector of Dubai; you must pay a total of 60 dirhams to obtain a certificate of sick leave. Thanks to this, the abuse of the UAE sick leave policy can be prevented. In turn, it helps protect employees from lost workdays.
In summary, companies must know everything about the UAE sick leave policy. Especially, their rights and responsibilities that they have with the employees who request the leave. That is why, below you will see the set of rights and responsibilities that companies must know.
Navigating Rights and Responsibilities
Information from the employee: The company must receive notice of the employee’s illness within two business days after the start of the leave. In addition, the employee must present a medical certificate from a competent health authority.
Obligation to pay salaries: Companies must pay the employee who has sick leave for the corresponding salary. All this information can be found in Article 31 of the labor law of the United Arab Emirates.
Dismissal of the employee: Companies have the responsibility not to dismiss the employee during sick leave or annual leave. Any notice of termination during this period will be deemed null and void. If the employee is led to believe that he was dismissed in violation of the labor law in the UAE, he can file a complaint with the competent body. Preferably, before the labor courts.
Respect the right of employees to sick leave: Every company must respect and provide the worker who requires it with sick leave. Taking into account all the UAE sick leave policy. That is, it must not exceed 90 days per year and it must be at the end of the trial period.
Granting sick leave to employees under probationary period: Employers have the responsibility to grant the worker unpaid sick leave, if he is in the probationary period. The only way a probationary employee can request this leave has to be without pay.