This is the third post of a monthly series featuring labour and employment related issues in Yemen. The series will provide a comprehensive review of most employment-related issues including statutory and contractual issues, remuneration and working hours, statutory leave entitlements, and termination and gratuity. 

3. Time Off / Leaves of Absence

Employees are entitled to at least 30 days of annual leave with full pay (for each year of effective service). Official holidays and days off falling within an employee's annual leave may not be counted as part of his or her annual leave entitlement.

In relation to sickness, employees are entitled to continuous or non-continuous sick leave on the following basis:

  • Sick leave with full pay for the first and second months of sickness;
  • Sick leave with 85% of wages for the third and fourth months of sickness;
  • Sick leave with 75% of wages for the fifth and sixth months of sickness; and
  • Sick leave with 50% of wages for the seventh and eighth months of sickness.

In addition to sick leave entitlement, an employee may use up the balance of his or her annual leave entitlement during sickness.

In relation to ordinary sickness, sick leave may be granted only if: (i) it is certified by the doctor appointed by the employer to treat his employees or by the medical institution with which the employer has concluded an agreement for that purpose; (ii) in the case where the employer has no such arrangement, the sick leave should be certified by a medical establishment in Yemen; or (iii) it is certified by an emergency clinic or hospital.

Employees are entitled to leave with full pay on all official holidays in Yemen. Employees who have spent four years of effective service with the employer are entitled to 20 days leave with pay to perform the Holy Pilgrimage, including the Eid Al Adha holiday. Such leave however, may be granted only once during the service of an employee and the employers shall have the right to ensure that such leave is used for its intended purpose.

Employees may be granted contingency leave with pay for a period not exceeding 10 days per annum. Widows may be entitled to leave with pay for a period of 40 days, from the date of their husband's death. Employees getting married for the first time are entitled to an extra 30 day fully paid holiday, in addition to their annual leave entitlement.

Under the Labour Law No 5 of 1995, as amended (the “Law”), there are no specific provisions in regards to family and other medical leaves; however employers may grant such leave on compassionate grounds, subject to their own discretion.

The Law grants women the right to reduced working hours (to five hours per day (with full pay), from the sixth month of pregnancy until the end of the sixth month after childbirth). According to the latest amendment to the Law dated April 2008, women are also entitled to 70 days maternity leave (with full pay) and employers are prohibited from dismissing any employee during her maternity leave. There are no provisions in relation to paternal leave.

The next post will discuss employment termination enshrined under the relevant labour law.