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Annual & Sick Leave

I am working in the HR department of one of the private companies in Kuwait. One of our employees took one months annual leave and during his leave period he was sick for seven days and he bought the documents for the sick leave. As per the Labor Law, will these seven days be considered as sick leave or annual leave.

Name withheld
Answer: This is a very tricky question and a lot of companies and employees try to interpret the law to their benefit. But remember that the annual leave can’t be combined with any kind of leave.

According to the correct interpretation of the rules and regulations on the subject, and we have checked this with the Legal Department at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, only those sick leave days towards the start and end of the annual leave are to be treated as sick leave.

For example, a person falls sick, and he has a certificate to prove his sickness, before he proceeds on sick leave and on the very next day he goes on annual leave then those days will be treated as sick leave. Even those days which overlap the start of his annual leave will be treated as sick leave and deducted from his annual leave to the benefit of the employee.

These days are then added to the balance of his annual leave. Similarly, if a person is on annual leave and he falls sick towards the end of his leave in such a way that he is still sick when his leave ends then those days are also to be deducted from the annual leave of the employee and added to the balance of that person’s leave.

On the other hand if a person falls sick during the middle of his annual leave and has already started his annual leave (even one day) and still has not completed the leave (again even if one day of leave is left) then these sick leave days will not benefit the employee and will be counted as part of the annual leave with not even one day to be counted towards the balance of leave.

Please remember that even this person has a medical certificate from his country to prove his sickness, this certificate has to be attested by at least two doctors from a government clinic on this return to Kuwait before it can be accepted.

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