Can employees combine sabbatical leave and annual leave? Can employers cancel leave prematurely? Frequently asked questions explained
As of January 2, 2023, the UAE government has implemented an entrepreneurship license for self-employment in the country. This sabbatical leave will be granted for a period of one year to UAE nationals working in the government sector who wish to start their own commercial projects.
Emiratis will receive 50 percent of their salaries during this period. The leave is approved by the head of the federal authority in which the employee works and may be combined with unpaid leave and annual leave.
The aim is to encourage youth to take advantage of the huge business opportunities offered by the country and to empower national talent. Below is an explanation of some frequently asked questions regarding sabbatical leave.
Does self-employment leave include all employees?
All national and civil employees working in federal entities can apply for this leave, with the exception of employees of federal government-owned companies, employees of temporary contracts and part-time workers.
What is the period of service required of the employee to obtain the leave?
The employee’s service period shall not be less than five years in the federal government or local governments in the event that he is transferred from a local entity to a federal entity.
What are the conditions for an employee to take leave?
The conditions are as follows:
1. The employee should have a performance evaluation of a level of not less than 2 or its equivalent in the entity in which he works.
2. The total period of service of the employee in the federal entity or in a local entity shall not be less than five years. The length of service of the employee in a local entity is acceptable for calculation, whether the employee is transferred from a local government to a federal government, or he resigns from the local entity and is appointed to the federal government.
3. That the employee has already performed the national service or has proof of his position.
4. An employee may not serve his entity as a result of being delegated or entrusted with a study mission, unless the employer decides otherwise.
What kind of financial support will be paid during the vacation period?
The employee will receive 50% of his total monthly salary, excluding job-related bonuses and allowances.
Is national service required to obtain this leave?
Yes it is. The employee performs national service or has proof of his position.
Will the period of self-employment leave be counted within the years of actual service at the entity?
Yes, the employee continues to subscribe to the retirement fund, and the aforementioned leave is counted within the employee’s years of actual service.
What is the warning period that the employee must serve after the approval of the sabbatical leave?
The notice period must be a maximum of two months, and the head of the federal entity or his delegate may exempt or reduce the notice period for the employee as required by the work interest in the federal entity.
Will the notice period be included in the leave period taken by the employee?
The notice period is not included in the self-employment leave period granted to the employee.
Employees can collect A vacation And annual vacations?
Yes, the employee may combine the self-employment entrepreneurship leave with the annual leave he is entitled to before starting the self-employment entrepreneurship leave.
What happens if the number of applicants exceeds the required percentage? What is the selection process?
In the event of an increase in the number of applicants, selection among employees is made based on those who meet more criteria than those mentioned in the sixth item of the Projects Guide.
If the project is an online business, can employees still apply for self-employment leave?
Yes, the employee who owns an e-commerce project has the right to license entrepreneurship to work for his own account, provided that he obtains the necessary licenses to practice the activity.
Does the organization have the right to cancel the leave granted to the employee before it expires?
The employer may not terminate the entrepreneurship leave and summon the employee after taking the leave, unless the employee’s consent is obtained.
Can individuals who are planning modest start-up projects apply for this leave?
Yes, the employee can apply for an entrepreneurial leave based on the start-up project, provided that the project has obtained the necessary licenses, or is in the process of being registered and obtaining the license.
If the project represents a branch of a company located outside the country, can employees still apply for leave?
Yes, the employee may apply for leave if the main company obtains the necessary approvals, provided that the employee proves that he is an authorized agent, or that he has a role in managing or supervising the branch.
Can employees register a complaint if they are not granted independent work leave?
Yes, the employee may resort to the Grievances Committee and the Objections Committee in the federal government according to the procedures specified by the executive regulations of the Human Resources Law in the federal government.