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28 May 2017Last updated
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Ask the expert: I lose 3 days’ pay for one day leave

Your question suggests that you are paid on an hourly basis, yet you go on to state that if you take a day off midweek, you ‘lose’ a day’s work

Stephen Field
15 Apr 2016 | 12:00 am

I work a regulated 40-hour week which is Sunday to Thursday. If I take a day off in the middle of the week I lose a day’s pay, which is appropriate. However, if I take an day off on a Thursday or a Sunday, my employer includes the weekend in the deduction and deducts three days’ pay. How can this be legal?

You do not mention what is written in your contract of employment, and I proceed on the basis that you are employed under a standard employment contract with no particular term or terms concerning Thursday and/or Sunday working, nor the deduction (as opposed to loss) of pay for a day or days off.

I also proceed on the basis that you have agreed any day(s) off in advance such that no penalty/fine issues arise under Article 102 of Federal Law no. 8 of 1980 (the UAE Labour Law).

Your question suggests that you are paid on an hourly basis, yet you go on to state that if you take a day off midweek, you ‘lose’ a day’s work. You go on to say that if you take a Thursday or a Sunday off, the employer ‘deducts’ 3 days’ pay. These statements appear to be contradictory and illogical. 
If your contract provides that you are remunerated for 40 hours’ work, irrespective of the days of the week on which you accumulate these 40 hours, you ought not to be penalised for taking a day off.

If you do not work, it is entirely acceptable that you don’t get paid for it. However, given that Fridays and Saturdays are not a part of your working week, it is impermissible for your employer to ‘deduct’ wages for those days. By doing so, it seems your employer is deducting wages from the hours you had worked on your working days. This is considered to be an offence against Article 60 of the Labour Law, which prohibits deductions from wages, except in certain specified circumstances (including, but not limited to: overpayment, legally required deductions, contributions to a savings fund, fines for employment offences).

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Stephen Field

Stephen Field

is a legal consultant (UAE), advocate (DIFC Courts) and a barrister (UK). He works for the Sanad International Law Group in Dubai. www.silg.ae