Well, this could be tricky…
You know how you sometimes feel bad enough to not go to work but know that you just have a virus that your body will work through so don’t make the effort to go to the doctor?
Well, a new Dubai Health Authority (DHA) regulation might make that difficult.
The regulation states that employees in Dubai will no longer be able to go into a clinic and get a note that covers the sick days they took before their doctor’s visit. So, say if you were sick on Sunday and Monday and then finally went to the doctor on Tuesday, you wouldn’t be able to get a certificate for the Sunday and Monday, so that then may be considered annual leave from your employer.
So yes, your doctor-sanctioned sick leave only starts from the day you visit the doctor, whereas previously the doctor was able to give you a sick leave certificate that started up to three days prior to your visit.
The new rule is effective from today.
Many companies allow you to take two days of sick leave without requiring a sick note, which would mean you would only have to go to the doctor on the third day of your illness anyway. Check in with your HR department to find out what their policy is so that you’re in the know now and don’t have to think about it when flu-riddled..
Remember, sick leave certificates cost Dhs60, and that’s a fee imposed by the DHA that is charged on top of the doctor visit fees.
Michael Kortbawi, a partner at Dubai law firm BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates, explained the new regulation to us further, noting that it may be altered in the future:
“As described by the DHA, on its face, the new regulation will require that anyone seeking DHA certification of an illness to report to a physician on the first day of the illness. Whether this is practical in all situations, however, is debatable, and the regulation may be modified at some point to provide for exigent circumstances.
“It should also be noted that Article 82 of the UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1980, known as the Labor Law, states that an employee must notify their employer of non-labor related illness within a period of two days, creating a potential inconsistency with the new DHA regulation. The employer may then request the employee to be examined by a physician to verify the illness.
“Thus, pursuant to the Labor Law, an employer may deny sick leave if the employee does not obtain medical certification within two days of the sick leave beginning.”
Basically, if you’re sick for more than one day get in touch with your HR to find out what you need to do about a doctor’s note, chances are they’ll recommend that you go into the doctor that day to get a certificate (and often you should go to the doctor anyway).
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