I joined a company on a one-year fixed contract and it has been renewed for another year. I have now completed one year and six months in the organisation. I would like to know if I am eligible for annual leave as per Labour Law. When discussed with my HR department they said they are not allowing me to take any leave and if I want time off it will be unpaid, as I am not a permanent employee. I have not had any leave since joining the company. Does the Labour Law say that annual leave is only available for people on an unlimited contract? SN, Sharjah
Either the HR person does not know what they are doing or the employer is deliberately acting incorrectly. Either way they are wrong and treating their employee unfairly. UAE Labour Law is applicable to people on both fixed/limited and unlimited contracts, and both are considered to be permanent employees. Anyone employed with a contract and a visa and/or labour card is entitled to annual leave. A fixed-term contract is nothing to do with being a temporary employee but offers certain safeguards and restrictions for both parties. Article 75 of UAE Labour Law states: “The employee must be granted an annual leave during each year of service that may not be less than: 1. Two days per month in respect of any employee with more than six months and less than one year of service. 2. Thirty days per year in respect of any employee whose period of service exceeds one year. In the event of termination of an employee’s service he shall be entitled to an annual leave for the fractions of the last year of service.” While the employer may specify when leave can be taken, they cannot prevent an employee from taking any annual leave. If SN’s employer refuses to permit the annual leave specified in law, SN should register a case at the Ministry of Labour on 800 665 or at a convenient labour office.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE
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