The foundational framework of labor laws in the UAE plays a vital role in overseeing employment relations and protecting the rights of both employees and employers. Recent revisions to the UAE Labor Law have introduced noteworthy modifications, particularly about granting leave during the notice period. This provision recognizes the practical needs of terminated employees who are actively pursuing new job opportunities while adhering to specified regulations. Additionally, the legislation delineates the entitlement of employees to their accrued annual leave and guides the calculation of corresponding leave wages. Familiarity with these updates is essential to ensure compliance and cultivate a just and equitable working environment for all stakeholders in the UAE labor market.
If you have recently tendered your resignation or received notice of termination of your employment contract, you might be wondering about the disposition of your accrued annual leave days. During such circumstances, you may be interested in understanding whether you have the option to utilize your annual leave during the notice period or if you are eligible to receive monetary compensation instead.
In the context of the UAE Labour Law, it is crucial to consider the conditions associated with a notice period. Understanding the pertinent regulations is essential to determining the validity of a notice period. Article 43 of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Labor Relations outlines these conditions:
1. Both the employer and the employee have the right to terminate an employment contract for valid reasons, provided that written notice is given to the other party.
2. The employee is obligated to fulfill their contractual duties during the notice period as stipulated in the employment agreement.
3. The notice period’s duration should be no less than 30 days and can extend up to 90 days.
4. Throughout the notice period, the employee is entitled to receive their complete remuneration based on their last salary.
5. If the employer requests it, the employee must continue working during the notice period.
These provisions emphasize the significance of adhering to the regulations governing termination and notice periods under UAE Labor Law.
Taking Leave During the Notice Period in the UAE
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Labor Law does not explicitly outline an employee’s entitlement to utilize accrued annual leave while serving their notice period. It is essential to note that as per Article 43(1) of the regulations, employees are expected to fulfill their work obligations on all working days during the notice period.
Employees do, however, have the option to request their employer’s permission to utilize their unused annual leave during the notice period. If both the employer and the employee come to a mutual agreement on this matter, the employee can then take advantage of their accrued but unused annual leave.
In cases where an agreement cannot be reached between the employee and the employer regarding the use of accrued annual leave during the notice period, employees retain the right to receive monetary compensation for the unused leave, according to Labor Law regulations.
It is important to underline that while the law does not specifically address the utilization of annual leave during the notice period, individuals should consider the general provisions and guidelines related to notice periods within the UAE.
Furthermore, Article 43.5 of the UAE labor law specifies that if an employer terminates an employment contract, the worker is entitled to take one day off without pay each week during the notice period to facilitate their job search. The worker is allowed to select the day of absence, provided they notify the employer at least three days in advance. Employers are obligated to adhere to this law and grant the worker the designated day off.
Additionally, when an employee has accumulated unused annual leave that they have not taken, the employer is required to include payment for that leave as part of the employee’s final settlement.
The legal provisions about unused annual leave under UAE Labor Law stipulate that if an employee resigns before utilizing their accrued leave days, they are entitled to receive a wage for these unused days, regardless of the leave duration. This entitlement applies to the period for which the employee was unable to take their leave.
These rights are established under Article 29(9) of the UAE’s New Labor Law. According to Article 29, employers are prohibited from preventing employees from using their accumulated annual leave beyond two years. However, employees have the option to either carry it forward or receive monetary compensation for it, by the relevant regulations set by the establishment and the Implementing Regulation.
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Gulf registered lawyers in Dubai, recognized as top labor lawyers in the UAE, are your reliable legal partners when it comes to matters related to employment and labor laws, including annual leave entitlements. Our experienced team of labor lawyers possesses an in-depth understanding of Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 and can offer valuable guidance and representation. In situations involving unused annual leave during the notice period, our labor lawyers can skillfully assist in negotiations with your employer, ensuring your rights are safeguarded and facilitating a mutually agreeable resolution. With our client-centric approach and extensive knowledge of the legal landscape, our labor lawyers in Dubai are dedicated to advocating for your best interests.
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