Will departing Abu Dhabi employee be reimbursed for unused annual leave and flight?

It is generally expected that an employer to reimburse an employee for a flight that they have not used, but the entitlement will depend on the wording in the contract of employment.

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I have an end of service question I need solving. I am leaving my job after a little more than two years and I only used one of my annual flights, as this year I didn't have the opportunity to use it. I am leaving with a lot of unused annual leave too. Will my employer reimburse me for the cost of a flight, or have I just lost it? What about the holiday pay? Can I expect to be paid for this? NB, Abu Dhabi

I would generally expect an employer to reimburse an employee for a flight that they have not used, but the entitlement will depend on the wording in the contract of employment. If it states that the employer will pay for a flight directly and monies are not available in lieu, or that it must be used during the relevant 12 month period, then the employee would not entitled to receive the benefit in a different way. In respect of annual leave, Article 79 of UAE Labour Law states that, “the employee is entitled to receive cash in lieu of annual leave days not availed by him, if he was dismissed or if he left the service, after the period of notice stipulated by law. Cash in lieu of leave is calculated on the basis of pay received by the employee at the time of maturity of such leave”.

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

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