UAE Employment Act

Wednesday, February 01, 2023 TimeTec 0 Comments

According to sources, the 2022 UAE population including expatriates is 10.08 million, in which the expatriate population constitutes approximately 88.5% (8.84 million) of the population. Due to its multicultural setting and expat-friendly laws, the UAE has always been a haven for foreign settlers. As one of the most popular countries for business operations, business owners and heads of the human resource department in UAE need to understand and comply with the UAE labour law when setting out the working schedules, hours and leave entitlement for their employees. This article will point out the relevance of attendance and leave aspects to the UAE Employment Act that applies to both local and expatriate workers.

Working Hours
Additional Information
a. The time that is required to travel between the employee’s residences to the work premise are not to be included within the work hours calculation.
b. Certain industries and sectors may have an increase or decrease in daily workings as well as work timing range and breaks depending on the approval of relevant government authorities.
c. During the Ramadan month, the maximum working hours of a worker will be reduced to 6 hours each day without any reduction in their wages.


Additional information
a. Overtime should not exceed more than 2 hours per day.
b. Employers are not allowed to force overtime on their employees.

The only exceptional case whereby overtime hours are allowed to exceed 2 hours is to prevent, eliminate or alleviate:
a. Substantial loss
b. Serious accident

Off Day
Public Holiday
All employees within the UAE are entitled to paid public holiday leave for the 10 following public holidays: 

Do note that the dates for most of the public holidays may vary from each year. Employees who perform their work during a public holiday are entitled to the following options:
i) An additional 50% of their regular wages
ii) Substitute rest day

Annual Leave

Annual Leave balances are meant to be taken within the same leave year. However, with the approval of the employer and within approved regulations, an employee may carry forward the annual leave to the following year.

1. Employers are not allowed to prohibit employees from taking their annual leave that was accrued for more than 2 years.
2. Employees will have the right to carry their leave forward or to be paid as cash payment for the balances.
3. With an agreement, an employer may set the dates of the leave on behalf of the employee with at least one month's notice in advance.

Sick Leave
Sick Leave Entitlement: 90 days
Probation: Employees who are still serving probation may apply for sick leave without pay, subjected to the approval of the employer and with an issued medical report.

Reporting: Employees are required to report to their employer in no later than 3 days regarding their absence due to being sick.

Maternity Leave
Maternity Leave Entitlement: 60 days 

If a mother is facing complications, they may further request for:

Breastfeeding Break: A mother who resumes work is entitled up to two additional breaks to nurse her newborn.
1. The two breaks are limited to one hour.
2. The breaks entitlement will last for 6 months following after the date of delivery.
3. Breastfeeding breaks are paid breaks.

Parental / Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave Entitlement: 5 days

Hajj and Umrah leave
Hajj Leave:  Maximum of 30 days

Umrah Leave: It is up to the employer to decide if employees should deduct the balance from annual leave or determine it as unpaid leave.

Study Leave
Study Leave: 10 days annually

Compassionate Leave

Sabbatical Leave
Emirati employees are entitled to paid sabbatical leave or paid extended break from work to perform National Service.

Do you need an efficient solution to manage tedious HR matters such as employees’ work attendance and leave?

How about giving TimeTec a shot? TimeTec possesses comprehensive HR Cloud solutions to help you in Workforce Digital Transformation. Request for a Free Demo Now!

*Disclaimer: The above article is meant for general information only and not intended to be used as legal advice. TimeTec has no obligation or responsibility with respect to any actions taken based on the provided information.

03-8070 9933     |     Email     |     |     Interest Form