What Are The Rules Governing Unpaid Leaves In The UAE? 

Let’s assume that you are working in a firm in the UAE, Dubai for example, and you need some days’ leave, 15-20 days, due to an emergency. However, the issue is that you are left with no leaves as you have used up all the paid ones. So, is it advisable to take unpaid leaves of 15-20 days, even if the employer does not approve of the same? Will you lose your job in such a scenario? Come let us find out answers for the same. 

What Do The Law Says? 

If you are employed in a UAE company, the provisions regarding the Employment Law and Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 pertaining to the Regulation of Employment Relations will apply. As far as unpaid leaves are concerned, in the UAE an employee can avail of the same subject to the consent of the employer. This is in line with Article 33 (1) of the country’s labour law. 

But The Only Hitch Is… 

So, you are within your rights to take unpaid leaves in case you have exhausted paid ones. But you need to keep in mind that after seven days if you don’t return to your place of work then the employer reserves the right to rescind the job contract with you. And the employer also does not have to give you a notice for the same as well. Also, while joining the organisation it would have been mentioned in your offer letter that continued absence for these many days would result in the termination of your employment agreement. So, do whatever you want after getting the consent of the employer and keep written confirmation of the same as well. 

As per Article 44 (8) of the Employment Law, “An employer could sack the employee devoid of prior notice, post a written probe with him, and the sacking shall be in writing and reasoned, and provided by the employer, or his chosen deputy to the employee, in case the employee does not report to work without justification or legal cause that is acceptable to the employer for over 20 interrupted days in a calendar year, or more than seven days in succession.” 

Legal Complications Of Unapproved Unpaid Leaves 

Also, the days of approved unpaid leave taken by the employee can be excluded while arriving at the service period. Article 33(2) of the Employment Law is indicative of the same. And if you take unpaid leaves beyond the specified days then the employer in the UAE can also file a case declaring you as an absconder with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). This can harm your future job prospects in the country as well. 

In a nutshell, you could avail of unpaid leaves with the approval of the employer but make sure that you report to duty after the expiry of the same without any delay. Moreover, if you want 15-30 days of leave then it is better to convince the employer of the gravity of the situation and work out an arrangement. Do not breach the mutually agreed date of resuming the official duty. 

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