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Employee Entitlement to 90 Days of Sick Leave after 3 Months’ Probation Period in the UAE

Employee Entitlement to 90 Days of Sick Leave after 3 Months’ Probation Period in the UAE

An employee of either private or public company are entitled to 90 days of sick leave, but it will apply after three months’ probation period. The question that arises here is whether it will apply to an employee with a contract of limited duration with the company?  Article 83(2) of the Federal Law Number 8 of 1980 governs employment relations in the UAE states “If an employee has completed its probation period of three months in the constant service of the employer, then he /she falls ill, they shall be entitled to sick leave not exceeding 90 days”.  The Federal Law number 8 of 1980 does not specify whether it will be applicable for an employee with the limited duration contract or not. It is unsaid rule that it applies to both limited and unlimited duration contract with the employer.

An employee can utilize up to 90 days’ sick leaves in a year and the breakup of these days is as such:

  1. Payment of full remuneration for the first 15 days of sick leave.
  2. Payment of half of the remuneration for next 30 days of the sick leave.
  3. No paid remuneration after 45 days of the sick leave.

The breakdown of sick leave illustrates that if an employee avails up to 90 day’s sick leave in one go then no more paid sick leave he/she would be able to avail in the whole year. After 90 day's of ill leave, no remuneration is given.  For instance, if your weekend is Friday and Saturday and you get flu on Thursday and take Thursday and Friday off, still you will be taking four days’ sick days even though you are only taking two working days to recover. There is a debate over the fact that if an employee is diagnosing with some major sickness for which they need to utilize 90 day’s sick leave plus additional extra days to recover from the surgery or treatment the person went through, so will they be compensated or paid for the recovery period?  Once again the Article 83 (2) of the Federal Law Number 8 of 1980 strictly states that no remuneration after 90 days which seems to be a bit complex for those who have been diagnosed with some serious illness and requires more than 90 day’s sick leave. The remedy to that issue is in Article 85 of the Employment Law where an employee is entitled to utilize its indemnity bond with the company.

Furthermore, as per Article 85 of the Employment Law, an employer can terminate employee’s contract on the finishing of 90 days of sick leave if they are not able to resume work.  Article 85 of the Employment Law states that “An employer may abort the service of an employee after the period of sick leave, as mentioned in Article 82,83 and 84 of this Law. If an employee is not able to recommence work even after sick leave, then an employee is authorized to an indemnity by the provisions of this Law.”

If the employer breaches the contract with the employee without notifying them, then the employee has right to file a complaint before the Ministry of Labour in the event if the employee and employer are unable to reach an amicable solution. An employee can claim for compensation from the employer for breaching the limited contract. If the Ministry of Labour is unable to reach an amicable settlement between the parties, then an employee can file a complaint in the courts of UAE. For example, if an employee is pregnant for the second time while she is on maternity leave, employer terminates her employment then she can file a complaint before Ministry of Labour for breaching of a limited contract without her notification. If the Ministry of Labour is not being able to resolve the situation and reach the settlement between employee and employer, then an employee can file a complaint in the courts of the UAE.