An HR executive with a leading UAE company, however, told Emirates 24|7 that employees can be given grace period in certain cases: “One of our long-time employees is moving back to his home country and requested an extension in company accommodation. We did give him a 15-day grace period to allow him to complete all his formalities. Though the Labour Law specifies the regulations, the extension to be given depends on the relationship between the employer and employee,” the executive added.
In April 2016, Emirates 24|7 reported that housing allowance are not part of the basic wage and must be agreed upon separately. The UAE Labour Law does differentiate between the definitions of basic wage and total wage. The former is an employee’s wage excluding all allowances of whatever nature and is specified in the labour contract, while total wage is an employee’s wage inclusive of all allowances provided such as accommodation and travel allowances.
“Hence, according to UAE Labour Law, allowances such as flights, housing, transportation and telephone are not part of the basic wage and must be agreed upon separately,” Ahmed Odeh, Legal Consultant, MIO Law Firm, told Emirates 24|7.
Housing allowance can be distributed in one of two ways: cash/cheque in advance or employer undertaking to secure housing on behalf of the employee.