KT readers wonder if employees can take separate vacations
question: I would like to split my annual leave every 3-4 months and return home to visit my family. But employers are insisting on one-time furloughs during the summer when business activity slows. Can my employer force me to decide when and how long I should take vacation? Please guide.
Reply: We assume that your employment is governed by the UAE Federal Decree (33) of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relationships (“Employment Law”).
According to your question, you can refer to paragraph 4 of Article 29 of the Labor Law. Its provisions are as follows: “Article (29) annual leave
4. Employees should use vacations in the year in which they are entitled. The employer can negotiate with the employee to determine the date of vacation according to the needs of the work, or take turns between employees to ensure the smooth progress of the work, and should notify the employee of the vacation date at least (1) month in advance. “
According to the provisions of the above-mentioned Employment Act, employers can negotiate with employees to determine the date of leave according to the work requirements of the agency/office so that the work of the related agency/office can proceed smoothly and seamlessly. Therefore, employers can also rotate leave among employees. The employer is also obliged to notify the date of the leave at least one month before the start date of the leave.
Therefore, while annual leave is mutually agreed between the employer and the employee, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the duration of such leave is determined with due regard to the other factors mentioned above.
According to your question, your employer cannot force you to take annual leave at a specific time. Rather, this must be determined by mutual agreement between you and your employer, taking into account other applicable factors relevant to the smooth functioning of the institution/office in which you work. Therefore, it is recommended that you resolve this issue with your employer in an amicable manner.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice in Dubai, UK and India. Further information on his company is available at: www.amalawyers.com. Readers can email their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.