Navigating End of Service Benefits in the UAE: A Comprehensive Guide

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April 16, 2024


End of service benefits, or gratuity, in the UAE are provided to employees when they leave a job. Eligibility begins after one year of continuous service, and calculation methods vary based on contract type and length of service. Termination scenarios and documentation play a role in determining entitlements.


As an employee in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), understanding the intricacies of end of service benefits is crucial for a smooth transition when leaving a job. The UAE labor law outlines specific provisions for end of service benefits, which include gratuity payments, leave encashment, and other financial entitlements. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects of end of service benefits in the UAE, providing valuable insights and practical guidance to help employees navigate this process and ensure their rights are protected.

Understanding End of Service Benefits:

End of service benefits, also known as gratuity, are a fundamental part of the UAE's labor law. The purpose of these benefits is to compensate employees for their years of service to an employer. The exact calculation and entitlements vary depending on the length of employment, the type of contract, and the reason for termination.

The UAE labor law states that employees are entitled to a gratuity payment upon completion of one year of continuous service. The calculation is based on basic salary and length of service, with different formulas applied for limited and unlimited contracts. It is important for employees to understand the specific calculation method applicable to their employment contract to ensure they receive the correct amount.

Apart from gratuity, employees may also be entitled to other end of service benefits, such as payment for unused annual leave or any outstanding salary or allowances. It is crucial to review the employment contract and understand the specific entitlements to ensure that all financial dues are received upon separation from employment.

Termination Scenarios and Entitlements:

Different termination scenarios in the UAE can affect the calculation and entitlements of end of service benefits. Understanding these scenarios is essential for employees to know their rights and entitlements based on the circumstances of their employment termination.

  1. Resignation: When an employee voluntarily resigns, they are generally entitled to receive gratuity for the period of service completed. However, employees who resign before completing one year of service may not be eligible for gratuity, depending on the terms of the employment contract.
  2. Termination by the Employer: If an employer terminates an employee's contract, the entitlement to end of service benefits depends on the nature of the termination. In cases of arbitrary dismissal or termination without cause, employees may be entitled to receive a full gratuity payment, as well as other financial entitlements.
  3. Mutual Termination: In some cases, employers and employees may mutually agree to terminate the employment contract. The terms of the mutual termination agreement should clearly outline the entitlements to end of service benefits, including gratuity and any other outstanding payments.
  4. End of Fixed-Term Contract: For employees on fixed-term contracts, the end of service benefits may differ from those on unlimited contracts. It is important to review the contract terms to understand the gratuity entitlements upon the completion of the fixed-term contract.
  5. Redundancy or Retrenchment: In the event of redundancy or retrenchment due to organizational restructuring or economic reasons, employees may be entitled to special end of service benefits, such as additional compensation or extended notice periods. These entitlements are typically negotiated during the redundancy process.

Calculating End of Service Benefits:

Calculating end of service benefits in the UAE involves understanding the formula and variables used to determine the gratuity amount. The calculation is based on the employee's basic salary and length of service, and different formulas apply to limited and unlimited contracts.

For limited contracts, the gratuity calculation is as follows:

  • 21 days' basic salary for each year of service for the first five years.
  • 30 days' basic salary for each subsequent year of service.

For unlimited contracts, the calculation is as follows:

  • 21 days' basic salary for each year of service for the first five years.
  • 30 days' basic salary for each subsequent year of service up to a maximum of two years.

It is important to note that the basic salary used for the calculation does not include allowances, commissions, or other additional payments. It refers to the base salary specified in the employment contract.

In some cases, employers may offer enhanced gratuity schemes or end of service benefits that exceed the minimum requirements outlined in the labor law. These enhanced schemes can provide employees with additional financial benefits, and it is advisable to review the employment contract or collective bargaining agreements to understand any such provisions.

Process and Documentation:

To ensure a smooth process when claiming end of service benefits, employees should follow certain steps and ensure they have the necessary documentation to support their claims.

  1. Review the Employment Contract: Employees should carefully review their employment contract to understand the specific terms and conditions related to end of service benefits. This includes the calculation method, notice periods, and any additional entitlements.
  2. Provide Notice: Employees who are resigning should provide the required notice period specified in their employment contract or as per the labor law. Failure to provide proper notice may impact the entitlement to end of service benefits.
  3. Maintain Documentation: It is crucial to maintain accurate records of employment, including contracts, salary certificates, and any other relevant documentation. These documents serve as evidence of employment and can be used to support end of service benefit claims.
  4. Communicate with the Employer: Employees should engage in open communication with their employer regarding the end of service benefits. This includes discussing the calculation, expected payment date, and any outstanding dues.
  5. Seek Legal Advice if Needed: If there are any disputes or concerns regarding the calculation or payment of end of service benefits, seeking legal advice from a labor lawyer or contacting the relevant labor authorities can provide guidance and assistance.


Navigating the process of end of service benefits in the UAE requires a solid understanding of the labor law provisions and an awareness of individual entitlements. By familiarizing themselves with the calculation methods, termination scenarios, and required documentation, employees can ensure a smooth transition when leaving a job and receive their rightful financial entitlements. It is advisable to seek professional advice or consult labor authorities in case of any uncertainties or disputes. Being well-informed empowers employees to protect their rights and make informed decisions regarding their end of service benefits in the UAE.

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