Saturday, August 21, 2010

UAE Annual Leave Entitlement

A reader from Dubai asks: I am an expatriate and have held a valid unlimited residents' visa as a mechanical engineer since November 2005. I would like clarification regarding leave — as stated in Article 75, chapter I1 of the UAE Labour Law. As it is mentioned, every worker shall, within each year of service, be granted a period of annual leave of no less than 30 days a year, where the workers' period of service is more than one year. How is it to be implemented, after completion of the first year of service — is there eligiblity for 30 days' annual leave. When is my second year’s annual leave due? Presently in our organisation it is after the first completion of 12 months' service.

If I avail of 30 days annual leave, my next eligibility for annual leave is due only after again completing 12 months of service, ie, the first 12 months plus one month of annual leave after completion of 12 months ie after 25 months my annual leave is due from the 26th month and so on.

My query is if the Article has specified, within each year of service ie after completion of my first year of service, am I eligible for my second annual leave on the 24th month of continuous service.
Further as our working hours are nine hours per day — 54 hours, even for management staff, is it legal as per the UAE Labour Law as it mentions it has to be 48 hours a week even though I work in a factory.

If it is 48 hours per week, the additional working hour per day amounts to more than 30 days a year ie 6 hours per week x 52 weeks excluding government declared holidays, I am availed of 30 days after completing every 12 months of service. So will it be my annual compensated accumulated leave?

As per article No 75 of the Federal Labour Law No 8 of 1980, concerning workers’ annual leave for 30 days and how to calculate this I would tell the questioner that a worker, at the beginning of his employment in the company, shall work for an entire 12 months and thus as per this article he shall be entitled to 30 days’ leave starting from the first of the 13th month.
As for the second year, the leave of such a worker shall start from the beginning of the 12th month, viz; the worker works in the second year for 11 months only and then he shall be granted annual leave. As for the question regarding the extra work hours and if it is possible to be calculated within the end-of-service gratuity, I would tell the questioner such extra work is to be compensated by being paid for such work and therefore overtime shall not be calculated within the end-of-service gratuity. As for the question on overtime in the factory, in accordance with the Labour Law, whether in terms of management or otherwise, the employer is entitled to request from the ministry that working hours are nine hours a day instead of eight hours as required by the factory. Therefore, such overtime should be paid.
Questions answered by Advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Bahar Advocates and Legal Consultants