Emergency Leave in the UAE: What Every Employee Should Know

Emergency Leave in the UAE

Every individual goes through some crises and emergencies all over the world and the people in the UAE are no exception. It is challenging to deal with a situation like this especially if you are a working professional, employee, or even a laborer. Keeping the work-life balance is integral in every situation whether it is an accident, illness, death, natural disaster or any situation of emergency. That is why, employees need to learn and understand the rules and regulations related to emergency leave in UAE so that they can exercise their rights well and keep their professional life streamlined.

We have a profound understanding of UAE labor law and today we will talk about the aspects related to emergency leave in the UAE including the types, legal framework, and procedure to apply them.

Understanding the Importance of Emergency Leave in UAE

Emergency leaves are integral for employees in any organization to cope with unforeseen circumstances that may occur. Employer provides emergency leave facilities to employees and workers to support them during challenging and urgent situations. Through an emergency leave, employees can take time off from work for reasons like family emergencies, medical or healthcare issues, accidents, incidents, or climatic disasters as well.

Overview of Emergency Leave Policies in the UAE

Well, there are no specific regulations and law clauses related to emergency leave in UAE, however, the employees who have completed their probation period are entitled to paid UAE labour law annual leave of:

  • 30 days leave for each service year
  • Two days leave monthly

Also, the Employment Law’s Article 31(3) grants 45 days of paid sick leave UAE to employees. The UAE labor law also has provisions for maternity leave in UAE as well as paternity leave.

Besides that, Article 32 of the UAE Employment Law grants employees specific days of bereavement or compassionate leave in the event of the death of a close family member including:

  • 5 days paid leave in case of death of a spouse
  • 3 days paid leave in case of death of child, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparents

Although these leaves are enough to cover the situations that an individual may face in personal life during employment or professional responsibilities, employees can request unpaid leaves in cases that are beyond the person’s control.

It is totally an employer’s choice to approve or disapprove the request for emergency leave by an employee. However, employees must follow these protocols to increase the chances of approval:

  • Employees must adhere to the specific procedures outlined by the employer
  • The employee must inform their line manager or supervisor
  • Employees must stay in touch with the employer and maintain continuous communication during their absence.
  • Employees must respect the approved and granted emergency leave days

Types of Emergencies Covered

The types of emergency leave covered are medical/health emergencies to get treatment, the caretaking of a family member going through a health condition, managing childcare issues, or dealing with natural calamities as well. Here is the breakdown for it:

Health Emergencies

Employees can request time off for issues related to health. Although the situation is covered in sick leave UAE law, unpaid leave can also be availed if needed.

Medical Emergencies for Self or Family Members

Employees can request emergency leave for themselves or in case of family members’ medical emergencies. It allows them to cope with the situation well.


In case an employee is hospitalized due to illness, surgery, accident, or whatever, emergency leaves can be availed.

Family Emergencies

The events that require the presence of an employee like an illness of a family member or any critical situation where a family member is involved lead to the emergency leave.

Death in the Family

Emergency leave is applicable if a family member or loved one has died.

Childcare Emergencies

An employee may face childcare emergencies like a child’s hospitalization, nanny leave, or unexpected issues at a child’s school. The employer can grant leave in that case as well.

Natural Disasters

Employees may face instances like heavy rain, floods, storms, earthquakes, or other calamities to be eligible for emergency leave in UAE.

Procedures for Dealing with Natural Calamities

If an employee has to deal with the aftermath and disastrous situation of natural calamities, he has the right to take an emergency leave.

Legal Framework for Emergency Leave in UAE

Legal Framework for Emergency Leave in the UAE

As per the UAE labor law, employees who have completed their six months of probation are entitled to emergency leave in UAE. It facilitates the employees to request time off in case of unforeseen situations or unexpected circumstances. However, it is mandatory to mention that employees should be aware of the UAE labour law annual leave as well to know that they are entitled to 30 days paid leave per year as well.

Let’s discuss the UAE labor law and emergency leave interconnection:

Employee Entitlements and Limitations

  • Employees with the 6-month completion period of probation are entitled to 2 leaves per month that can be used in case of emergency or casually.
  • Employees must follow outlined procedures to request emergency leave
  • The employee must take their supervisor or line manager in confidence to avail of their emergency leave.
  • The employee must communicate about the extension or termination of emergency leave during an absence.
  • Employees must respect the duration or days granted for emergency leave.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Although, due to the Emiratisation in the UAE labor law, Emiratis are integrally a part of any organization, it is the employer’s responsibility to practice fair policies of emergency leave for foreign employees as well.
  • There is no specific highlight regarding the emergency leave in UAE Labour Law, it automatically becomes the employer’s choice to grant the emergency leave or not.
  • Generally, employers in the UAE take care of the well-being of employees and accept and approve employees’ emergency leave requests.
  • In the case of these types of situations, an employer is expected to be fair and just while handling it.

Procedure for Requesting Leave

Every company has some rules and regulations that employees have to respect and follow. In case of emergency leave in UAE, you also have to follow some crucial steps as follow:

Leave Approval Process

  1. In any emergency situation, inform your immediate supervisor, manager, or boss promptly. It is recommended to contact the authoritative individual personally and explain your situation with proof.
  2. To formalize your emergency leave request, draft an email explaining the gravity of the situation you are currently facing along with the proof (if required)
  3. Keep informing your manager or supervisor to maintain a trust factor and show how responsible as an employee you are.
  4. Adhere to the duration or days of granted emergency leave as it shows your compliance with the company’s rules. However, you can request an extension and avail of some more days of time off.
  5. Formally report to your workplace after completing the duration of your emergency leave. It will not only help you in reaching out to team members for the pending work but also help in requesting the salary because emergency leave in UAE is unpaid.


Both employees and employers must comply with the UAE labor law when it comes to emergency leave. Although the employment law does not have any provisions regarding emergency leave in UAE, employers still consider it for the well-being of employees.

However, employees and employers are recommended to learn about other law provisions like maternity leave in UAE, Emiratisation in Dubai, or relevant regulations to handle the situations and scenarios well. In case of disputes on emergency, or sick leave UAE, expert recruitment consultancy in UAE like Kinza HR is ready to help you out. Reach out to us for any kind of assistance you need.


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