Can Dubai parent take sick leave from work to care for injured son?

Keren Bobker advises a free zone worker whose son broke his arm and requires an operation.
A free zone worker in Dubai is concerned about taking time off to care for his son. Pawan Singh / The National
A free zone worker in Dubai is concerned about taking time off to care for his son. Pawan Singh / The National

I work for a private company in a free zone and would like some advice regarding labour law. My two-year-old son has broken his arm and has had to have an operation. He cannot attend nursery for several weeks so will need to stay at home. I have a note from the hospital saying he is sick, which is valid for four weeks. Can I use this to apply for sick leave from my employer to look after my son? SY, Dubai

Taking time off work to care for a sick relative, no matter the situation, would be considered compassionate leave, not sick leave and there is no provision for this in UAE Labour Law. An employer may grant some compassionate leave, allow the employee to use their annual holiday entitlement or to take time off without pay. But this will not be considered sick leave and is entirely at the discretion of the employer.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years of experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

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Published: December 8, 2014 04:00 AM

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