Aug 4, 2014

Legal view: No Provision For Paternity Leave As Per Federal Law


If the employer fail to comply with his obligations towards him as provided for in the contract, the employee can lodge a complaint against his employer citing non-fulfilment of obligations 

I have been working in a company in Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah, for more than three years. I would like to know if I am eligible for paternity leave according to law. My wife has just delivered a child and I’d like to avail of leave if it is permitted by the labour law.

It is understood that you have been working at an entity incorporated at the Hamriyah Free Zone for more than three years and you have become a father very recently.

Further to your queries it may be noted that at the Hamriyah Free Zone, matters pertaining to employment is governed by the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, relating to Regulation of Labour Relations (the “Labour Law”).

Since there is no specific provision for paternity leave in the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, you may avail your annual leave for the aforesaid purpose in accordance with the provisions of Article 75 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 which states:

“Every worker shall, within each year of service, be granted a period of annual leave of not less than:

(a) Two days a month, where the worker’s period of service is more than six months but less than one year;

(b) 30 days a year, where the worker’s period of service is more than one year.

Where a worker’s service is terminated, he shall be entitled to annual leave in respect of fractions of the last year.”

However, your employer may allow you to avail your annual leave in two parts in accordance with Article 76, which states:

“The employer may fix the date of commencement of annual leave and, if necessary, divide such leave into not more than two periods (notwithstanding the foregoing, the provision respecting the division of leave shall not apply to leave fixed for young persons).”

You may therefore check with your employer on its policy on paternal leave as Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 does not specifically deal with the issue.

Non-fulfilment of employer obligations

My cousin joined a travel company in Dubai. During salary negotiations, it was agreed that he would be given Dh7,500 per month and his designation would be ‘operations manager’. He got an offer letter to this effect from the company. However, there was a condition. His employer told him that in the WPS file, the salary would be reflected as Dh5,000 and the balance Dh2,500 would be given in cash. Both parties agreed to this arrangement.

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