This article sheds light on the relationship between chronic illness and workplace rights in the UAE. It explains the differences between chronic illness, occupational disease, and occupational injury.
Table of Contents
Clarifying Chronic Illness and workplace rights.
While often used interchangeably, chronic illness, occupational disease, and occupational injury have distinct differences:
- Chronic illness. A long-term health condition requiring ongoing medical treatment. This can result from genetic factors, lifestyle choices, or exposure to environmental toxins.
- Occupational disease. A health issue caused by exposure to occupational hazards in the workplace, including chemical, physical, biological agents, or ergonomic factors. In the UAE, examples include occupational asthma and noise-induced hearing loss.
- Occupational injury. A physical injury due to workplace accidents or incidents. In the UAE, employers are required to compensate employees injured on the job.
Employee Rights in case of illness.
Employees in the UAE are protected by a robust legal framework that safeguards their rights and ensures fair treatment, especially in case of illness or injury.
Overview of Sick Leave in the UAE.
In the UAE, an employee is entitled to a maximum of 90 days of sick leave annually. This can be either continuous or intermittent. However, this provision comes into effect only after the completion of the probationary period.
Salary During Sick Leave.
During the sick leave, the salary is paid in the following manner:
- Total pay for the initial 15 days.
- Half pay for the subsequent 30 days.
- No pay for the remaining 45 days.
The aforementioned sick leave provisions are relevant to post the probation period. During the probationary stage, an employee may be granted sick leave without pay, subject to the employer’s approval and submitting a medical report affirming the necessity of leave.
Termination Due to Illness.
An employer cannot dismiss an employee or issue a termination notice while the employee is on sick leave. However, if the employee cannot return to work after exhausting the 90-day sick leave, the employer has the right to terminate their services.
End of Service Benefits.
If an employee’s services are terminated after the exhaustion of their 90-day sick leave, they are entitled to end-of-service benefits, per UAE labour law’s provisions.
Employer Obligations and Entitlements.
Employers must comply with the UAE labour laws and uphold the rights of their employees, particularly in the context of sick leave and medical emergencies.
Exclusions from Sick Leave Provisions.
Certain circumstances may render an employee ineligible for paid sick leave. These include:
- During the probation period
- If the illness directly results from the worker’s misconduct, such as the consumption of alcohol or narcotics
- If the worker violated safety instructions, as per the active legislations in the UAE and the regulations set forth by the organization, of which the employee was informed.
As per Article 31 of the UAE Labour Law, the employee must inform the employer of their illness within three days and provide a medical report detailing their condition.
Navigating the realm of labour laws can be complex. Hence it may be beneficial to seek legal assistance. Younis Mohammed Al Blooshi, a renowned Labour Lawyer & Legal Consultant, is a trusted professional for labour cases in the UAE.
FAQs about chronic illness and workplace rights.
Disclaimer. The information in this article is intended to be a guide about chronic illness and workplace rights and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended to consult a legal professional for any specific legal concerns.
Contact the office of Younis Mohammed Al Blooshi via Whatsapp. Click here. Or visit us at our address: Sobha Ivory 1 – Al Amal St – Business Bay – Dubai. You can also call us on phone: 00971589984123.
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A legal consultant specializing in UAE labor law. He regularly publishes articles on the website and writes on various areas of UAE law, with a specific focus on labor law.