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UAE Employment Law: Can Employers Deny Annual Leave Due to Absences of Colleagues?

In Dubai, a common concern among employees revolves around their ability to take annual leave when their requested dates clash with a colleague's approved time off. A specific query asked if it's permissible for a manager to reject a summer break leave request under such circumstances, despite the employee having already made travel arrangements based on prior approval.

Under the UAE's Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, which regulates employment relations, employers hold the authority to schedule annual leave based on operational requirements. Article 29(4) specifies that employers can determine leave dates in accordance with business needs, provided they notify employees at least one month in advance and mutually agree on the dates.

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Moreover, Article 29(8) ensures that employees receive annual leave at least once every two years, unless they choose to defer or receive compensation for unused leave. This legal framework aims to strike a balance between employer flexibility and safeguarding employee entitlements.

In situations where an approved leave request is later declined due to staffing rotations or business exigencies, employees may face financial losses, such as non-refundable travel expenses. Unfortunately, UAE employment law does not explicitly outline remedies for such circumstances, highlighting the importance of securing written approval for leave before making travel arrangements.

For comprehensive guidance on employment rights and regulations governed by Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021, individuals are advised to refer to established legal frameworks and ministerial decrees that govern employment practices in the UAE. Understanding these laws can help employees protect their rights and make informed decisions regarding annual leave and related matters.

June 19, 2024 2:16 p.m. 569

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