7 Essential FAQs About Annual Leave: UAE Labour Law

Annual leave rights, rules and provisions can be found in Articles 74 to 81 of Federal Law 8 (1980) of the UAE Labour Law.


Questions relating to annual leave in the UAE are commonly asked and rightly so. It’s important that employees keep well informed about UAE labour laws and how they can comply with the rules and regulations correctly when taking their leave.


Here’s what you need to know:


  1. As an Employee, What are your Leave Entitlements?

As an employee, If your period of employment is greater than six months but less than a year you are permitted to a minimum of two days paid leave for each month you’re employed. Should the employment period be greater than one year, an employee is entitled to 30 days of paid leave annually as per UAE Labour Laws. This annual leave may include public holidays and/or weekends that fall within the aforementioned 30 days, however this policy is at a company’s discretion. It is also dependent on an employer’s policy as to if additional leave days are given to employees.


  1. Which Official Holidays are UAE Employees Entitled to?

As an employee in the UAE, you are entitled to an official holiday, with full wages, for the following public holidays:


New Year: (1 January 2020)


Eid Al Fitr: (29 Ramadan-3 Shawwal)


Arafat Day: (9 Dhu al Hijjah)


Eid Al Adha: (10-12 Dhu al Hijjah)


Hijri New Year: (23 August)


Commemoration Day: (1 December)


National Day: (2-3 December)


  1. Are Public Holidays Included in the Calculation of Annual Leave Days?

Yes. A period of annual leave will include official holidays or “sick days” specified by employee contracts, agreements, and laws, that fall within the period of the annual leave.


  1. What is Payable to an Employee during their Annual Leave?

At the very least, employees should be paid their basic wage plus housing allowance, if applicable.


  1. Who Determines the Duration and Start-date for the Annual Leave?

An employer maintains the right to decide when an annual leave begins and also reserves the right to divide the annual leave into two sections at their discretion. Additionally, based on working requirements, they can also keep an employee from getting whole or part of the annual leave. However, under these circumstances if the annual leave has not been carried over for the following year, then an employer must pay the employee their wages in addition to a leave allowance for the days they worked – which is equal to their basic wage.


Nevertheless, an employer can only defer annual leave once in two consecutive years and must still pay the employee the annual leave wages. Therefore, no employee is required to work during their annual leave for more than one instance in a two year period.


  1. When Should Annual Leave Wages be Paid?

Employees should be paid their full wage before they have taken their annual leave, along with the wage of the leave days they are entitled to, as in accordance to the provisions in UAE Labour Laws.


  1. Is an Employee’s Services are Terminated are they still Entitled to Payment in Lieu of Leave?

An employee is entitled to receive their wages for annual leave if their employment is terminated, or if they stopped working after the notice period determined by law. The employee will be entitled to receive any remaining wages for annual leaves that they have not received. This will be calculated on the basis of the wages they received at the time when the leave was due.

It must be noted that many of these answers can depend on an individual company’s policy. The points mentioned above are in accordance to the UAE Labour Laws as a bare minimum for Employee Rights that every company must comply with, however, many organisations have more specific rules and agreements. We encourage you to enquire about what your employer’s policies are regarding annual leave.

We hope this post has answered any queries you may have had concerning Annual Leave in accordance to UAE Labour Laws. If you have any other questions regarding Employee Legal Services, please feel free to contact V7 Legal using the forms on our website!