Annual Leave in the UAE: Can You Really Take 60 Days Off?

Dubai, with its shimmering skyscrapers and bustling city life, attracts employees from around the globe. But what about the essential need for some time off? If you’re eyeing a two-month escape from work to build your dream home, this article is a must-read for you.

Let’s delve into the intricacies of annual leave entitlements under the UAE labor law and explore whether you can truly take 60 days off at a stretch.

In Short: Dubai’s labor law permits up to 45 days of annual leave, considering carried-over days. Exceptions allow 60 days if prior year’s leave is unused, but conditions apply. Communicate with employer for clarity.

Understanding the Law

Before you start packing your bags, it’s crucial to understand the UAE labor law’s provisions on annual leave. The Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 govern employment relations in Dubai. These regulations outline the rules surrounding annual leave entitlements.

The Annual Leave Entitlement

According to Article 29(1)(a) of the Employment Law, employees in the UAE are entitled to 30 calendar days of annual leave for each year of service. This entitlement is based on your years of service and is designed to ensure that you get some well-deserved time to recharge and rejuvenate.

Employer’s Role in Scheduling Leave

While you might be excited about planning a two-month getaway, your employer has a say in when you can take your annual leave. Article 29(4) of the Employment Law allows your employer to schedule your leave based on work requirements. However, they must notify you at least one month in advance to obtain your approval for the chosen dates.

Carrying Forward Leave

What if your work commitments prevented you from taking your annual leave this year? Article 29(8) of the Employment Law states that if your employer fails to grant you annual leave in a given year, they must provide you with the opportunity to take it at least once every two years. Alternatively, you can choose to carry forward your leave or receive cash in lieu of it, subject to establishment bylaws and executive regulations.

Calculating Your Annual Leave

Now, let’s crunch the numbers. If you’ve accumulated more than 30 days of annual leave this year and your employer didn’t grant you leave, you have options. According to Article 19(1) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, you can carry forward up to half of your annual leave entitlement (15 days) to the following year.

The Reality Check

As tempting as a two-month break might sound, the UAE labor law does place some limits. Taking into account the maximum 15 days carried forward from this year, your annual leave entitlement for the following year would be a sum of 30 days for next year and 15 days from this year. This totals up to 45 days, short of the desired 60-day leave period.

Exceptional Scenarios

However, there’s a twist. If your employer didn’t grant you annual leave this year, you could potentially take up to 60 days of annual leave next year, combining 30 days from the current year and 30 days from the following year. This scenario, however, hinges on your employer’s compliance with the law.

Bottom Line

While the allure of a two-month annual leave might be enticing, the UAE labor law places certain constraints on the duration of leave you can take. Understanding these legal provisions is essential before making any ambitious vacation plans.

As you dream about building your dream home back in your country, make sure to communicate openly with your employer, ensuring a smooth process for both parties.

Remember, even though a 60-day leave might not be guaranteed, a well-planned and refreshing break is always within your reach.

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