Sick Leave policy in the DIFC

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    Sick leave is permitted absence from work because of illness and it’s different from paid vacation leave since sickness deals with health matters.

    Dubai International Financial Centre, a special economic zone in Dubai established in 2004 as a financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA). DIFC is home to an internationally recognized, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework.

    Compared to UAE Labor Law, DIFC law has some changes. In this article, we are explaining the sick leave policy of DIFC.

    Article 34, 35 and 36 of the DIFC Employment law number 2 of 2019  states the following about sick leave.

    Sick leave is granted for 60 working days per annum (calendar year) at the following rate

    • The first 10 working days: with full pay.
    • The next 20 working days: with half pay.
    • Any subsequent period to a maximum of 30 working days: without pay.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Is sick leave in the DIFC based on calendar days or working days?

      Sick leave is calculated based on working days and excludes weekly off days that fall within sick leave

    2. Can an employer terminate an employee who has exhausted his sick leaves and is unable to return to work?

      Yes, as stipulated in article 36 an employer may terminate an employee. If an Employee takes more than sixty working days of Sick Leave in one year, the Employer may terminate the Employment Contract with immediate effect on written notice to the Employee. But this rule does not apply where an Employee takes Sick Leave on account of a disability which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the Employee’s ability to carry out duties to an Employer.

    3. How are UAE national/public holidays that fall within an employee’s sick leave treated in DIFC?

      Sick leave is calculated based on working days, Any holidays stipulated by law that fall within sick leave are treated as public holidays.

    4. What is the difference between sick leave unpaid and unpaid leave?

      The days taken after the first 30 days are regarded as sick leave unpaid and are different from unpaid leave. The days falling under this type of leave are included when determining the service period of an employee. This leave does NOT impact the outstanding vacation, air ticket payout or any other payroll accrual due to the employee.

     

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