UAE’s self-employment leave: Taking a sabbatical to start your business? Eligibility, salary, notice period; all you need to know – News

Can employees combine sabbatical leave and annual leave? Can employers cancel leave prematurely? Frequently asked questions explained

By web office

Published: Fri, Jan 6, 2023, 12:57 PM

Last update: Fri, Jan 6, 2023, 1:45 PM

As of January 2, 2023, the government of the United Arab Emirates has implemented the Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employment in the country. This one-year sabbatical will be granted to UAE citizens working in the government sector who wish to start their business.

The Emiratis will receive 50% of their salary during this period. The leave will be approved by the head of the federal authority for which the employee works and may be combined with unpaid leave and annual leave.

The aim is to encourage young people to take advantage of the enormous business opportunities offered by the country and to empower the national talents. Here is an explanation of some of the frequently asked questions regarding the sabbatical.

Does independent leave apply to all employees?

All national and civilian employees working in federal entities can apply for this leave, except employees of federal public companies, employees on temporary contracts and part-time workers.

What is the required period of service of an employee to obtain the leave?

The employee’s period of service must not be less than five years in the federal government or local governments in the event of a transfer from a local entity to a federal entity.

What are the conditions required for an employee to obtain the leave?

The conditions are as follows:

1. The employee has a performance evaluation of a level not lower than 2 or its equivalent in his entity.

2. The employee’s total length of service in the federal entity or in a local entity cannot be less than five years. The employee’s period of service in a local entity is acceptable for calculation whether the employee transferred from a local government to the federal government or resigned from the local entity and was appointed to the government federal.

3. The employee has already completed his national service or has proof of his status.

4. The employee cannot serve his entity because of a delegation or a study mission, unless the employer decides otherwise.

What type of financial support will be provided during the leave period?

The employee will receive 50% of his total monthly salary, excluding bonuses and employment-related allowances.

Do you have to have done national service to get this leave?

Yes it is. The employee must perform national service or have proof of his position in this service.

Will the length of self-employment leave be calculated in years of actual service with the entity?

Yes, the employee continues to participate in the pension fund, and said leave is counted in the employee’s years of effective service.

What is the notice period that employees must observe after sabbatical leave is approved?

The notice period is a maximum of two months and the head of the federated entity or his delegate may exempt or reduce the notice period for the employee, depending on the direct participation in the federated entity.

Will the notice period be included in the leave period an employee has obtained?

The notice period is not included in the duration of the Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employed activity granted to the employee.

Can employees combine sabbatical and annual leave?

Yes, the employee can combine the entrepreneurship leave for self-employed activity with the annual leave to which he is entitled, before the start of the entrepreneurship leave for self-employed activity.

What happens if there are more applicants than the required percentage? What is the selection process?

In the event of an increase in the number of candidates, the selection is made among employees based on those who meet more criteria than those mentioned in point VI of the Project Guide.

If the project is an online business, can employees still apply for self-employment leave?

Yes, the employee with an online business project is entitled to Entrepreneurship Leave for self-employed activity, provided that he obtains the necessary licenses to carry out the activity.

Does the organization have the right to cancel the leave that was granted to the employee before its expiry date?

The employer must not end the entrepreneurial leave and summon the employee after taking the leave, unless the employee’s approval has been obtained.

Can people planning small start-up projects still apply for this leave?

Yes, the employee can request a request for entrepreneurship leave based on a start-up project, provided that the project has obtained the necessary licenses, or is in the process of registration and obtaining a license.

If the project represents a branch of the company located abroad, can employees still request leave?

Yes, the employee can request leave if the main company has the necessary approvals, provided that the employee proves that he is an agent, or that he has a role in the management or supervision of the branch.

Can employees file a complaint if they are not granted self-employment leave?

Yes, the employee may appeal to the Federal Government Grievance Board and Objection Board in accordance with the procedures specified in the regulations under the Federal Government Human Resources Act.