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Regulation for Cashing out the Annual Leave Balance

Annual leave is a principal right of the employee which the employer is not entitled to withhold. Otherwise, this shall constitute an assault on the employee’s physical and mental health. The employee may not waive such right as it is guaranteed by Articles No.12 &13 of the current constitution, as well as Articles No. 47 and 48 of the Labor Law No. 12 of 2003.

The employer shall determine the annual leave in accordance with work conditions. Such annual leave may not be interrupted/withheld except in favor of the work interest. The employee is obligated to comply with the leave on the date and period specified by the employer. If the employee refuses in writing to fulfill the leave, his right to be compensated shall be forfeited.

In the event that the leave has been withheld by the employer for the work benefit, then the employer shall be responsible for settling the leave balance or the corresponding wage every three years at the most. If the working relationship ends before the employee exhausts his annual leave balance, he shall be entitled to the wage corresponding to this balance.

According to the Egyptian labor law, the annual leave period shall be 21 days with full pay for those who have spent a full year in service, which shall be increased to thirty days when the employee has spent ten or more years in service with an employer. The leave shall be for a period of thirty days per year for those over the age of fifty. Holidays, formal occasions, and weekly rest are not included in such leave. If the employee’s service period is less than one year, he shall be entitled to a leave proportionate to the period he spent at work, provided that he has spent six months in the service of the employer.

In all cases, the annual leave period shall be increased by seven days for employees who work in difficult, dangerous, or harmful work conditions, or in remote areas, which is determined by a decree from the competent minister after consulting the concerned authorities.

To conclude, this article aims to highlight the fact that protecting the employees’ rights is a constitutional obligation, as it is considered an essential element in achieving a balance between all parties in the same workplace. Hence, the constitution remains a constraint on any legislation that has been adopted that regulates the right to work and the preservation of employees’ rights.

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Written By

Maher Iskander - Managing Partner / Noor Mahdy - Attorney at Law

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