Employment Act | TimeTec
UAE Employment Act
According to sources, the 2022 UAE population including expatriates is 10.08 million, in which the expatriate population constitutes approximately 88.5% (8.84 million) of the population. Due to its multicultural setting and expat-friendly laws, the UAE has always been a haven for foreign settlers. As one of the most popular countries for business operations, business owners and heads of the human resource department in UAE need to understand and comply with the UAE labour law when setting out the working schedules, hours and leave entitlement for their employees. This article will point out the relevance of attendance and leave aspects to the UAE Employment Act that applies to both local and expatriate workers.
Working Hours
Type Per Day Per Week
Normal Working Hours 8 48
Ramadan Working Hours 6 i) 36 for 6 working days
ii) 30 for 5 working days
Additional information

a) The time that is required to travel between the employee’s residences to the work premise are not to be included within the work hours calculation.
b) Certain industries and sectors may have an increase or decrease in daily workings as well as work timing range and breaks depending on the approval of relevant government authorities.
c) During the Ramadan month, the maximum working hours of a worker will be reduced to 6 hours each day without any reduction in their wages.
Types Details
Normal i) Exceeded Work hours above 8 hours per day
ii) Exceeded Work hours above 48 hours per week
Ramadan Exceeded Work hours above 6 hours per day
Additional information

a) Overtime should not exceed more than 2 hours per day.
b) Employers are not allowed to force overtime on their employees.

The only exceptional case whereby overtime hours are allowed to exceed 2 hours is to prevent, eliminate or alleviate:
a) Substantial loss
b) Serious accident
Work Hours Break Duration Rule
5 consecutive work hours 1-hour break minimum Exclude from work hours calculation
Off Day
Work Days Off Day Duration Rule
Per Week 24 hours (1 day) i) Employee is entitled to 1 day of uninterrupted rest period within each week.
ii) Friday is primarily to be the ordinary weekly rest day.
iii) For the 5 working days shift, Saturday shall be the second ordinary rest day.
Public Holiday
All employees within the UAE are entitled to paid public holiday leave for the 10 following public holidays:
Public Holidays Duration By Day(s)
New Year’s Day (Hijri) 1
New Year’s Day (Gregorian) 1
Prophet Mohammed Birthday Anniversary 1
Eid al Fitr 2
Eid al Adha and Arafat Day 3
Isra and Mi’raj 1
National Day 1

Do note that the dates for most of the public holidays may vary from each year.
Employees who perform their work during a public holiday are entitled to the following options:
i) An additional 50% of their regular wages
ii) Substitute rest day
Annual Leave
Service Period Entitlement
Above 1 year or more 30 days Annually
Between 6 months to 1 year 2 days balance for each month
Less than 6 months 0
Annual Leave balances are meant to be taken within the same leave year. However, with the approval of the employer and within approved regulations, an employee may carry forward the annual leave to the following year.

1) Employers are not allowed to prohibit employees from taking their annual leave that was accrued for more than 2 years.
2) Employees will have the right to carry their leave forward or to be paid as cash payment for the balances.
3) With an agreement, an employer may set the dates of the leave on behalf of the employee with at least one month's notice in advance.
Sick Leave
Sick Leave Entitlement: 90 days
Sick Leave Pay Type Length of Days
Full The First 15 days
Half From 16th to 45th days
Unpaid From 46th to 90th days
Probation: Employees who are still serving probation may apply for sick leave without pay, subjected to the approval of the employer and with an issued medical report.
Reporting: Employees are required to report to their employer in no later than 3 days regarding their absence due to being sick.
Maternity Leave
Maternity Leave Entitlement: 60 days
Maternity Leave Pay Type Length of Days
Full The First 45 days
Half From 46th to 60th days
Unpaid Additional 45 days due to post pregnancy complication
If a mother is facing complications, they may further request for:
Maternity Leave Pay Type Details
Full Duration of 30 days if newborn requires special care
Half Additional 30 days extension due to medical complications of the newborn
Unpaid Duration of 45 days due to post pregnancy complication

Breastfeeding Break: A mother who resumes work is entitled up to two additional breaks to nurse her newborn.
1) The two breaks are limited to one hour.
2) The breaks entitlement will last for 6 months following after the date of delivery.
3) Breastfeeding breaks are paid breaks.

Parental / Paternity Leave
Paternity Leave Entitlement: 5 days
Paternity Leave Pay Type Entitlement Period
Full 5 days, regardless of consecutive or non-consecutive between the day of the child's birth to 6 months of age
Hajj and Umrah leave
Hajj Leave: Maximum of 30 days
Hajj Leave Pay Type Details
Unpaid i) Maximum of 30 days
ii) Entitlement only for once during the employment with the company
Umrah Leave: It is up to the employer to decide if employees should deduct the balance from annual leave or determine it as unpaid leave.
Study Leave
Study Leave: 10 days annually
Study Leave Pay Type Full
Detail i) For employees who are studying within UAE’s certified education institution.
ii) At least 2 years of service for their employmen
Compassionate Leave
Number of Paid Leave Details
5 Days Death of a spouse
3 Days Death of direct family member such as: parent, child, sibling, grandchild or grandparent
Sabbatical Leave

Emirati employees are entitled to paid sabbatical leave or paid extended break from work to perform National Service.
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* Disclaimer: The above article is meant for general information only and not intended to be used as legal advice. TimeTec has no obligation or responsibility with respect to any actions taken based on the provided information.