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Entitlement of Sick Leave During Probation for Employees in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its thriving business landscape and opportunities for both local and expatriate workers. Like any other country, the UAE has specific laws and regulations in place to protect the rights of employees. One crucial aspect is sick leave entitlement, which ensures employees receive adequate time off to recover from illnesses or medical conditions. However, the question often arises: What are the provisions for sick leave during the probationary period?

This article aims to shed light on the entitlement of sick leave during probation for employees in the UAE.

Legal Provision Relating to Sick Entitlement under UAE Labour Law

Article 31 of the Federal Decree-Law No. (33) Of 2021 provides comprehensive guidelines for calculating sick leaves, encompassing crucial aspects such as the maximum allowable duration of leave and the method of calculating corresponding remuneration.

  1. If a worker falls ill with a non-work-related illness, they must promptly notify their employer or representative within three working days. Furthermore, they must provide a medical report from a recognized medical institution outlining their condition.
  2. During the probationary period, workers are not eligible for paid sick leave. However, the employer has the discretion to grant unpaid sick leave if supported by a medical report from a recognized medical institution certifying the necessity of the leave.
  3. Once the probationary period is completed, workers are entitled to sick leave not exceeding 90 days per year of service. The calculation of sick leave entitlement is as follows:
  1. The initial 15 days are granted with full pay.
  2. The subsequent 30 days are granted with half pay.
  3. Any subsequent period of sick leave is without pay.
  4. If the illness is a result of the worker’s misconduct, as specified in the Executive Regulations of the Decree-Law, no wages shall be paid during the sick leave duration.
  1. If a worker exhausts their sick leave entitlements outlined in this article and fails to report to work, the employer reserves the right to terminate their employment. However, the worker retains all entitlements per the provisions of the Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations.

Read more about – Leave During Notice Period is Not Possible

Sick Leave during the Probation Period

During the probationary period, employees may request sick leave without pay, provided that they receive approval from their employer and present a medical report from a recognized medical entity stating the necessity of the leave.

Please note that the abovementioned provisions have specific conditions and do not apply to sick leave resulting from occupational illnesses.

Additionally, employees are not eligible for paid sick leave in the following situations:

  1. During the probation period.
  2. If the illness is a direct result of the employee’s misconduct, such as the consumption of alcohol or narcotics.
  3. If the employee has violated safety instructions as outlined in the relevant legislation in the UAE and the company’s regulations, of which the employee has been duly informed.

Non-payment of Wages for Sick Leave due to Worker’s Misconduct:

Article 20 of the Cabinet Resolution No. (1) Of 2022 provides that if a worker’s illness is a direct consequence of their misconduct, as determined by the Executive Regulations of the Decree-Law, they will not receive any wages during their sick leave period. Based on the provisions stated in Article (31) of the Decree-Law, the following points apply:

  1. The worker will not be eligible for wages during sick leave under the following circumstances:
  1. If the disease results from the worker’s misconduct, such as the consumption of alcohol or drugs.
  2. If the worker has violated the safety instructions defined by the current legislation in the State, including instructions related to crises and disasters, traffic regulations, or any safety procedures and rules outlined in the establishment’s regulations, which the worker has been informed about and acknowledged their understanding and compliance with.
  3. Implementing the Provision mentioned in point (a) above requires a report from the relevant authorities in the State, confirming that the disease resulted from the worker’s misconduct.

According to the UAE Labour Law, when should employees notify their employer of sick leave?

Regarding notifying your employer of sick leave, following Article 31 of the UAE Labour Law, it is required for the employee to inform the employer about their sickness within a maximum of three days. Additionally, the employee must provide a medical report from a recognized medical entity detailing their condition.

 Is it possible for an employer to terminate an employee based on the employee’s sickness?

As for the termination of an employee on the grounds of sickness, it is essential to note that an employer is prohibited from terminating an employee or providing them with a termination notice while on sick leave. However, if the employee exhausts their 90 days’ sick leave and cannot report to work, the employer may terminate their services. In such a scenario, the employee is entitled to receive end-of-service benefits as per the provisions outlined in the labour law.

Labour Lawyers in Dubai UAE

When it comes to navigating the intricacies of sickness-related employment issues in Dubai, seeking the assistance of a reputable HHS lawyer in Dubai can make all the difference. If you face concerns regarding sick leave, termination, or other illness-related employment matters, an experienced HHS Dubai lawyers can provide invaluable support. With a deep understanding of the UAE Labour Law and its specific provisions, they are well-equipped to guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected at every step.

By enlisting the services of a skilled HHS lawyer, you can gain peace of mind, knowing that you have a trusted advocate who will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Don’t face sickness-related employment challenges alone – let an HHS lawyer in Dubai help you navigate the complexities and secure a favorable resolution.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.