Can I take sick leave without UAE health certificate?

As an employee, it is your responsibility to prove your sickness through valid medical reports and/or medical certificates.

Q-I often feel sick due to lack of rest and get a headache which may not require consultation with the doctor. I feel fine after I take rest for a day. But if I want to avail of any sick leave, my employer demands a Dubai Health Authority (DHA) sick leave certificate even for a day’s leave. If I fail to provide one, my employer would either deduct my salary or deduct the day from my annual leave.

A-As an employee, it is your responsibility to prove your sickness through valid medical reports and/or medical certificates. An employee should report to his employer within two days of his sickness. This is in accordance with Article 82 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’), which states: “Where an employee contracts an illness otherwise than as a result of an employment injury, he shall report his illness within a maximum of two days and the employer shall thereupon take the necessary steps to have him medically examined immediately for the purpose of verifying his illness.” As mentioned by you, your sickness of headache is due to lack of rest and such illness compels you to take sick leave for one day on various intervals. The reason and intervals of sick leave availed by you may not go well with your employer, if you don’t provide a medical report and or a medical certificate issued by the DHA. Therefore, you may discuss the same with your employer and take prior approvals for such leave upon explaining your medical condition. However, your employer may demand from you a medical certificate issued by DHA for such illness. Based on this, you may approach a medical practitioner and undergo medical tests for your sickness related to illness due to headache and obtain a medical report.

Further, you have not mentioned the reason for lack of rest and if the reason for it is your employment conditions, which may include too long hours of work and other factors, such reason may be valid for your sick leave and you may bring the same to the notice of your employer. However, it is recommended you substantiate your sick leave with valid medical report and medical certificate issued by DHA. Your employer may deduct salary or deduct leave from your annual leave or other leave, if you don’t provide any valid proof or document for your health condition which forces you to take sick leave.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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