‘Are workers in the UAE allowed to take marriage leave?’

There is no provision in the UAE Labour Law for people to take extended leave to get married

Wedding rings. Getty Images
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

I work for a company and want to take leave to go to my home country to get married later this year. Is there is any law for marriage leave because I want to go for two months but the company is giving me only 30 days, which is my yearly leave? JB, Abu Dhabi

There is no provision in the UAE Labour Law for people to take extended leave to get married as that is a private matter. When an employee signs a contract, they accept the terms and that is usually for the standard 30 days of annual leave. This is stated in Article 75 of the UAE Labour Law: “The worker shall be entitled during every year of service an annual leave of no less than the following periods: a) Two days for each month should the period of service of the worker be of six months at least and a year at most. B) Thirty days for each year should the period of service of the worker exceed one year.”

An employer may allow additional unpaid leave but that is purely discretionary.

I received a job offer from a company in Dubai. I sent my passport details to them to arrange an entry visa but eventually decided not to join the company. I then found out that a visa has been issued on my passport. I now have another job offer that is a better opportunity and want to travel to the UAE soon. I didn't use the first visa but the company is not responding to my request to cancel it. KG, India

KG is referring to an entry permit, a document issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs that allows people who do not qualify for visa on arrival to enter and stay in the UAE legally for a certain period of time. This is then converted to an employment visa that permits residency.

An entry visa is only valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue, so if this has lapsed, KG's original visa may not be valid. After 60 days from issuance, there is no need to cancel this kind of visa as it expires automatically. He can check this on the GDRFA website.

If KG wishes to enter the UAE on a different entry visa arranged by the new potential employer and fewer than 60 days have passed, the original unused visa will need to be cancelled as it is not possible to have two at the same time.

The sponsoring employer must initiate visa cancellation. The cost to cancel a visa for a company is around Dh200 and while it may be inconvenient and the company may have incurred fees, this is part and parcel of being an employer in this country.

The sponsoring employer must initiate visa cancellation. The cost to cancel a visa for a company is around Dh200

If the employer will not assist, KG may need to contact the GDRFA directly to see whether they can take action or contact the employer on his behalf.

I am the landlord of an office space that will be rented for an amount below the value added tax registration threshold. My tenant has agreed to pay rent plus the 5 per cent VAT.
My questions are: 1) Do I need to register for VAT? 2) If yes, when do I need to submit VAT payments to the government?
AS, Dubai

This query was referred to Lisa Martin, a qualified accountant and owner of The Counting House, for comment. She said: “The landlord is the taxable person, not the individual property. So he must consider the combined revenues from all his taxable activities and not just consider one building in isolation. A taxable person must register for VAT when his combined taxable revenues from all properties or activities reach Dh375,000 in any 12-month period. If his total taxable revenues are below Dh375,000, there is no need to register."

It is assumed by many that only companies can have a liability to VAT. But this is not true, as, in this instance, an individual can have liabilities too.

Ms Martin added: “The lease contract amounts should not include VAT unless the landlord is VAT-registered. I suggest adding a clause to the contract to say that VAT will be charged and added to the lease payments when the landlord is obligated to do so. Once a person registers, the Federal Tax Authority will allocate a VAT quarterly period and the start date. They have to submit an online return and pay the VAT to the FTA within 28 days of the end of the allocated VAT quarter.”

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 25 years’ 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