Khaleej Times, Monday, Jan 02, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 9, 1444
UAE law: Can employer object or decide when and how I can take annual leave?
Question: I want to split my annual leave and visit my family in my
home country every 3-4 months. But the employer insists on taking leave in one
go during summer when business activity has slowed down. Can my employer force
me to decide when and how much leave I should take? Please guide.
Response: We assume that your employment is subject to the provisions
of the UAE’s Federal Decree-Law No (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment
Relations (the “Employment Law”)
Pursuant to your question, reference may be made to clause 4 of Article 29 of
the Employment Law. The provisions thereof read as follows: “ARTICLE
(29) ANNUAL LEAVE
4. The employee shall use his leave in the year of entitlement. The
employer may fix the dates of leave according to the work requirements and in
agreement with the employee or rotate leaves among employee for the smooth
progress of work, and shall notify the employee of the date of his leave at
least (1) one month before the same.”
Following the Employment Law provisions, noted above, employers may determine
the dates of leave in agreement with their employees based on work requirements
at the establishment/ office so that progress of work at the concerned
establishment/ office is smooth and seamless. Accordingly, employers may also
rotate leave among employees. Employers are further obliged to notify the dates
of leave at least one month prior to the commencement date of the leave.
Therefore, although annual leaves are to be determined by mutual agreement of
the employer and the employee, it is the employer’s duty to ensure such leave
durations are determined with due consideration of the other factors as
Pursuant to your question, your employer may not force you to take annual leave
during a particular time. Rather, this must be determined by mutual agreement
between you and your employer and in consideration of the other applicable
factors regarding the smooth functioning of the establishment/ office you are
working. It is therefore advisable for you to resolve this issue with your
employer, using amicable means.