• emergency leave in uae
  • law

Emergency Leave in UAE Law #2023 - Labour law Leave Entitlement


Shini Ramith

November 2, 2023 · 15 min read
Emergency Leave in UAE Law #2023 - Labour law Leave Entitlement - TalentPoint

Unexpected events can take place in the lives of a person's dearest friends and relatives at any time. Examples include the illness or passing of a parent or grandparent. It is usually desirable to be present and lend support to the whole family when these events occur. Even when one is away from home, problems can still arise. For this reason, there is an emergency leave in UAE as per UAE labour law provision within the employment contract to address these issues.

In this article, we will be talking about the UAE emergency leave according to the local labor law. The UAE Labor Law does not specify any rules for emergency leaves. Therefore, it is solely up to the employer to determine if they will approve or deny an employee's request for this type of leave. Generally, most companies agree to the request.

What is Emergency leave in UAE?

Emergency leave in UAE is a type of leave that employees receive in order to address an emergency situation. This type of leave may be granted in cases such as a natural disaster, a medical emergency, a death in the family, or any other type of emergency that requires immediate attention. Emergency leave in UAE goes typically for a period of up to three days and can extend if the situation requires it.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), emergency leave entitlement is governed by UAE Labor Law, specifically Article 82. This article outlines the provisions for emergency leave, sometimes referred to as "casual leave," and provides guidelines for employees who require time off work due to unforeseen and urgent personal matters. Here's a summary of Article 82 in the UAE Labor Law:

Article 82 - Emergency Leave (Casual Leave):

1. Eligibility: All employees, regardless of their employment status, are entitled to emergency leave if necessary due to an urgent and unforeseen personal matter. This includes full-time, part-time, and fixed-term employees.

2. Duration: Emergency leave is usually a short-term leave, and the law does not specify a fixed duration. The duration of leave may vary based on the specific circumstances and the employer's discretion.

3. Notice and Documentation: If an employee needs to take emergency leave, they are generally required to notify their employer as soon as possible, providing a reason for the leave and an estimate of the required time off. While the law doesn't specify that documentation is required, it is advisable for employees to provide evidence or documentation of the emergency situation if available.

4. Salary During Leave: Employees are typically entitled to their regular salary during the emergency leave. However, it is crucial to discuss this with the employer and review the employment contract for any specific provisions related to salary during leave.

5. Return to Work: After the emergency situation is resolved, the employee is expected to return to work promptly and inform their employer of their return.

6. Consequences for Employers: Employers should not discriminate or penalize employees for taking emergency leave, and the law prohibits taking any adverse actions against employees for availing themselves of their emergency leave entitlement.

7. Applicability: Emergency leave applies to urgent personal matters, such as family emergencies, personal health issues, or other unforeseen circumstances that require immediate attention. It is not meant for vacation, holidays, or planned personal time off.

It's important to note that while Article 82 provides a framework for emergency leave, the specific application and implementation of this provision may vary based on individual employment contracts and company policies. Employers and employees are encouraged to communicate and cooperate to ensure that the leave process is as smooth as possible.

In the UAE, employees have a right to emergency leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least six months. The leave is not considered to be paid leave, and employers do not have to provide any additional compensation. Depending on the employer, emergency leave may be subject to prior approval from management.

Employees should be aware that emergency leave may not be granted for all types of emergencies. For instance, emergency leave may does not go for personal matters such as weddings or vacations. Additionally, emergency leave may not be granted if an employee is already on leave or if they have already taken their annual leave for the year.

To ensure that emergency leave is properly managed, employers should have policies in place that outline the conditions and requirements for granting emergency leave. These policies should clarify the types of emergencies that are eligible for emergency leave, the procedures for requesting and approving such leave, and any other conditions that may apply.

Overall, emergency leave in the UAE is an important benefit that allows employees to address emergency situations. This without having to worry about losing their job. By taking the time to understand the laws and regulations governing emergency leave, employers can ensure that their employees are able to take the necessary time off when necessary.

Is Emergency Leave Paid or Unpaid in UAE ?

In the UAE, emergency leave is typically unpaid. While the UAE Labor Law, as mentioned in the provided information, outlines various types of paid leaves, such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, bereavement leave, and study leave, it does not specifically mandate that emergency leave must be paid. Emergency leave is generally provided to allow employees to attend to unforeseen and urgent personal matters, and it is often considered unpaid leave, unless otherwise specified in an employment contract or company policy.

It's important for employees to discuss and clarify the terms of emergency leave with their employers, as well as review their employment contracts or company policies for any specific provisions regarding payment during emergency leave. In some cases, employers may choose to provide paid leave for certain emergency situations, but this is not a legal requirement under the UAE Labor Law.

Six Types of Paid Leaves as per New UAE Labor Law

In the UAE, employees are entitled to several types of paid leaves, including annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, bereavement leave, and study leave. Here's a breakdown of each type:

Annual Leave: Employees are entitled to 30 calendar days of paid annual leave for each year of completed service. The exact duration depends on the length of service, but it should not be less than 30 days a year. Additionally, employees with a service period of more than six months and less than one year are entitled to two days of leave per month.

Maternity Leave: Pregnant women in the UAE can avail up to 60 days of paid maternity leave once they complete six months of pregnancy.

Sick Leave: Employees are eligible for up to 45 days of paid sick leave as per Article 31(3) of the Employment Law.

Bereavement Leave: Employees are granted five days of paid bereavement leave in the case of the death of a spouse and three days in the case of the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild.

Parental Leave: New parents can take five days of paid parental leave, which should be availed within six months from the date of birth.

Study Leave: Employees who are students in educational institutions in the UAE can take up to 10 days of study leave in a year, provided they have completed two years of service with the employer.

In cases of unpaid leave, an employee can take unpaid leave with the consent of the employer. Unpaid leave is not counted in the employee's period of service and does not affect the pension system.

Furthermore, it's important to note that Article 21(5) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 allows employees to combine bereavement, parental, annual, and unpaid leaves, providing flexibility in managing their time off.

If you are taking a long-term leave with your employer's consent and have agreed on a specific return date, you should not be terminated. However, it is crucial to report back to work as agreed with your employer. Failure to do so may result in termination as per Article 44(8) of the Employment Law if you do not return to work within seven days of completing your mutually agreed long-term leave.

How to get / request the emergency leave in Dubai?

Employees in the UAE must be familiar with the steps required to make a request for an emergency leave. An emergency leave request may be granted for a variety of reasons, such as a family emergency, a medical emergency, or a personal crisis.

  • The first step in requesting an emergency leave is to contact the employer and inform them of the situation. It is important to be as honest and forthright as possible when communicating the reasons for the leave. Plus, to provide as much information as possible. It is also important to provide contact information for any third parties who may be able to provide additional information or documents concerning the need for the leave.

  • The next step is to provide the employer with a request in writing for the emergency leave. This should include the date of the leave request, the reason for the leave, and the expected duration of the leave. It is important to include any relevant documents or other information that supports the need for the leave, such as a doctor’s note or proof of an emergency.

  • Once the employer receives the request, the employer will make a decision about the emergency leave. The employer may require additional information or documents before making a decision. If the employer approves the request, the employee will be provided with a written confirmation of the leave. This confirmation should outline the details of the emergency leave. Including the date and time of the leave and the duration of the leave.

  • Finally, when returning from an emergency leave, the employee should make sure to follow all the requirements of the employer. This may include completing any paperwork or documents that were requested by the employer. And providing any updates or additional information on the situation.

What should you do if you do not receive the emergency leave in UAE?

If you are an expat living and working in the UAE, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation of not being able to obtain an emergency leave. This can be due to a number of reasons. Including not being able to provide the necessary paperwork or not meeting the requirements for a valid leave application. In such a situation, it is important to remember that there are still options available to you. 

The first step in this process is to contact your employer. Your employer should be able to provide you with the necessary information and documents to help you make a valid request for leave. If your employer is unable to do so, you can contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) to get assistance. The MOHRE website contains a wealth of information about employment and labor laws in the UAE, including information about leaves.

If you are unable to obtain an emergency leave in UAE due to financial constraints, you can look for other options. It is important to note that employers need to provide reasonable accommodation for their employees in such cases. This could include providing additional leave days, offering flexible working hours, or providing financial assistance.

If all else fails, you may need to consider leaving the country. Although this is a difficult decision, it may be the only viable option. You should inform your employer of your decision and ensure that you have all the necessary documents and paperwork before departing.

Finally, it is important to remember that the UAE is a safe and welcoming place for expats. If you do find yourself in a difficult situation, you should not hesitate to seek help from the authorities. The UAE government is currently providing a safe and secure environment for all expats.

What other types of leave exist in UAE according to the law?

In the UAE, some types of leave are legally mandated while others are not. Employers must be aware of the law and grant these types of leave accordingly. To help you understand when you may ask for leave and when you may require an emergency advance, we will provide a more profound explanation of each type.

Annual leave

Annual leave in the UAE is an important part of working life. Employees in the UAE have a right to a minimum of 30 calendar days of paid annual leave each year. This excluding public holidays, depending on the terms of their employment contract.

Employers must grant annual leave to all employees, including part-time and casual workers, and they cannot be denied annual leave. Employees may also be able to accumulate unused annual leave from one year to the next. This, depending on the terms of their contract.

During annual leave, employees have the right to full wages, and in some cases, their employers may also pay additional benefits, such as travel allowance. Employees cannot work during their annual leave, and they must receive adequate notice before the leave is due to start.

Annual leave in the UAE is a key part of workers’ rights, and it is important for employers to ensure that their employees receive their full entitlement. It is also important for employers to ensure that employees are aware of their rights when it comes to annual leave. Also, that they are able to take full advantage of this important benefit.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave in the UAE is at a minimum of 45 days paid leave for female employees. This leave is applicable to employees who have been working with the same company for at least a year. The leave payment entitlement goes from the day the employee officially informs her employer of her pregnancy.

In addition to the 45 days of paid leave, the employer must grant the employee a further leave of 90 days without pay. This leave can be taken either before or after the 45 days of the leave with pay. During this period, the employer must maintain the employee's salary and benefits.

Employees in the UAE also have the right to breastfeeding breaks of at least two hours per day for the first six months after giving birth. This is to accommodate breastfeeding mothers who need to express and store milk for their newborn babies.

The UAE has also put into place a number of other measures to support pregnant workers. Including mandatory health insurance coverage for pregnant women and their babies. Pregnant workers also receive protection against discrimination and unfair dismissal.

These are just some of the measures that are now in place to support pregnant women and their families in the UAE. The measures are in place to create a more supportive environment for new mothers and their families.

Sick leave

The UAE has specific regulations regarding sick leave that employers must follow. Employers must provide workers with sick leave if they are unable to work due to illness or injury. The number of sick days each employee has a right to depends on the length of service. Generally, the longer an employee has been with an employer, the extra sick leave they can get. 

Employees who have less than two years of service have a right to 30 days of sick leave per year. Workers with two to five years of service receive 45 days of sick leave per year. Employees with more than five years of service can obtain 60 days of sick leave per year. 

Workers must provide a medical certificate in order to take sick leave. Employers may also require further proof of illness or injury. Employees must also inform their employer as soon as possible if they are unable to work due to illness or injury. 

If an employee does not take sick leave days as the law suggests, the employer may deduct the days from the employee’s salary or take other disciplinary action. In addition, employees cannot take sick leave for more than 14 consecutive days without obtaining a medical certificate. 

It is important for employers to be familiar with the UAE’s regulations regarding sick leave. This in order to ensure they are in compliance. This will ensure that both employers and employees understand their rights and obligations regarding sick leave in the UAE.

Hajj and Umrah license

Hajj and Umrah are important religious duties for Muslims around the world. In UAE, there are specific rules and regulations regarding Hajj and Umrah leave. 

Employees have a right to 15 days to perform Hajj and Umrah. The employee must provide their employer with a valid document from the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs which confirms their Hajj and Umrah trip. The employee must also submit a medical certificate confirming their fitness to undertake the Hajj or Umrah. 

In addition to the Hajj and Umrah leave, the employee also receives to two days of leave for Eid Al-Adha. If the employee does not use the leave, they can carry it forward to the next year. 

To make sure that the employee can perform their religious duties without any financial burden, employers must pay the employee's salary for the duration of the Hajj and Umrah leave. The employer also has an obligation to pay the employee's travel expenses if they are travelling to Hajj or Umrah from outside the UAE. 

Hajj and Umrah are important religious duties for Muslims, and the UAE has created a supportive environment for employees to be able to fulfil their religious obligations. The country has created a system of regulations and procedures to ensure that Hajj and Umrah leave is taken in accordance with the law.

If you want to learn more about your employee rights, you can visit your insights section now

Ready to take the next step in your career?

Sign up to explore our latest job

Sign Up Now


blog sidebar looking hire

Looking to hire?

Join us & get access to our pool of talented candidates

blog sidebar dream job

Ready to land your dream job?

Explore 50,000+ Jobs & connect with top employers