Most Important UAE Labour Laws You Need to Know

Got a job in the UAE? Great! Time to move into the emirates that promise luxury and relaxation. It’s not only the environment that will ensure you have the best time possible. Considering the inflow of visitors and expatriates in the country and the recent lawmaking, it’s fairly easier to survive. Of course, you’ll have to abide by the laws of the state in order to stay out of trouble. Similarly, you’ll need to know UAE labour laws in order to get by without being harassed or exploited illegally.

So, let’s get down to the most important labour laws of the UAE that you need to know:

The Holidays:

Firstly, let’s take a look at the holidays that you’ll have in the UAE working under any company. Since these are national holidays, nobody can take them away from you.

·       New Year: 1st January

·       4 days of Eid-ul-Fitr

·       Hajj Day

·       3 days of Eid-ul-Azha

·       Hijri New Year

·       Commemoration Day on 1st December

·       2 National Day Holidays

Other than the fact that the week starts from Sunday and Friday-Saturday is the weekend, you should remember these holidays.

If you’re employed for less than a year but more than six months, you’re entitled to 2 days per month. These are the annual leaves that you have until you make the whole year. Then, it becomes a total of 30 days per year that you’ll have as your leaves.

Extra Hours and Sick Leaves:

If for any reason, the company must employ the services of their employee without allowing annual leaves, they must pay. Annual leaves will either carry forward to the next year or the company will pay for them. This amount will be equal to the basic wage of the employee only.

In case the employee has resigned or is dismissed without taking annual leaves, they are entitled to encashment. Furthermore, whenever an employee is about to use their annual holidays, their salary must be paid by the company.

The law regarding sick leaves is fairly thorough. Companies will have to allow 90 days of sick leave that have 15 days of full payment. The next 30 days will have half-pay while the remaining 45 days will be without pay.

Eligibility for Sick Leaves:

The law also specifies who is eligible for sick leaves and who isn’t. For example, if you fail to notify your employer of your condition in the first two days of your sickness. You’ll not be eligible for sick leaves.

Similarly, if you’re in the probation period, you can’t be eligible for sick leaves as you’re not a permanent employee. Another fact that you must remember is that you can’t fall sick due to your own actions. Meaning, if the disease or sickness you have is on account of your own alcohol or narcotic consumption, you’re ineligible. 

Finally, if the employer finds out that you’re working for someone else during your sick leaves, you’ll be ineligible.

It’s crucial to note that no employer has the right to terminate your employment during your sick days. Of course, that is if you don’t fail to comply with the eligibility criteria. The employer has the right to verify your sickness through a medical examination as well. If an employee doesn’t show up after the 90-day period, the employer has the right to terminate their employment.


This isn’t something that’s just limited to the UAE Labour law but rather extends to DIFC Employment under Article 58. This law clearly states that discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, marital status, race, nationality, religion, mental or physical disability are all punishable.

Discrimination on the basis of religion, belief, sect, faith, creed, race, colour, or even ethnic origins is criminal. Should you face anything similar to this, get in touch with the best law firms in Dubai to fight the situation.

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