Know your legal rights in the UAE.
Q. I am employed by a reputed company based in the emirate of Dubai, which was incorporated almost 25 years ago. Whenever an employee proceeds on annual vacation, the employer pays only basic salary and housing allowance as annual leave pay. The employer does not pay fixed allowances, which are part of the employees’ salary, excluding other performance incentives. My salary is Dh5,000 per month and its breakup is Dh2,500 towards basic pay, Dh1,250 as housing allowance and Dh1,250 other allowances. Further, incentives, overtime salary, mobile allowance and vehicle allowance are separate.
We assume that you are employed with an employer, which is incorporated in mainland in the emirate of Dubai.
As an employee, you are only entitled for basic salary and housing allowance pay as annual leave salary in the UAE. This is in accordance with Article 78 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’).
It states, “Every employee shall be entitled to his basic wage and the housing allowance if applicable in respect of his days of annual leave. Where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work during all or part of his annual leave and the days of leave on which he works are not carried forward to the following year, the employer shall pay him his remuneration, plus a leave allowance in respect of the days worked at a rate equal to his basic wage. It shall be unlawful in any circumstances to employ an employee during his annual leave more than once in two successive years.”
Your employer is following the provisions mentioned in the Employment Law related to payment of annual leave salary. However, if your contract registered with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (the ‘Ministry’) states specifically that your annual salary should include all the regular allowances granted by the employer then you are eligible for annual salary along with allowances.
Further, any claims against an employer by an employee should be submitted to the Ministry or Court within one year. Claims which date back to more than a year will not be entitled by the Ministry or the Court. This is in accordance with Article 6 of the Employment Law, which states, “… In all cases no claim of any entitlement due under the provisions of this law, shall be heard if brought to court after the lapse of one year from the date on which such entitlement became due, and no claim shall be admitted if the procedure stated in this Article are not adhered to.”
Know the law
Every employee shall be entitled to his basic wage and the housing allowance if applicable in respect of his days of annual leave where the circumstances of the work make it necessary for an employee to work during all or part of his annual leave.