Maternity Leave During Probation Period

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00


UAE, Dubai, maternity leave, probation period, DIFC, Probationary, labour law


If an employee has been continuously working for at least 1 (one) year, she is entitled to ‘full paid maternity leave for 45 (forty-five) days each year, under UAE Labour Law. If an employee has been with the company for less than a year, her ‘paid maternity leave will be cut in half. UAE labour legislation enables an employee to extend maternity leave beyond 45 (forty-five) days for a maximum of 100 (one hundred) consecutive or intermittent days ‘without pay’ if issues arise during pregnancy or delivery.

To date, UAE labour law has refused to recognise maternity rights for a female employee who is adopting a kid. Employees who adopt a child who is less than 3 (three) months old, on the other hand, are entitled to maternity leave under DIFC Employment Law.

A DIFC employee is entitled to a minimum of 65 working days of maternity leave. Furthermore, if an employee has been continuously employed for at least 1 (one) year before the projected or actual week of childbirth, she is entitled to be paid throughout the minimal maternity leave.


According to UAE Labour Law, an employee and an employer can agree to a six-month probationary period during which the employer can terminate the job without notice or end-of-service benefits. Furthermore, after completing the probationary period, the employee or the employer must give a notice period of 1 (one) to 3 (three) months before terminating the job.

Given the nature of the agreement – i.e. limited and limitless in terms of end-of-service benefits and payments instead of notice periods – certain obligations apply to the terminating party in the event of termination by either the employer or the employee.

The DIFC Employment Law, on the other hand, makes no specific mention of a probationary term. When an employee has been employed for more than one month, the notice required to be given by the employer or the employee to terminate the employment must be at least one week if the period of continuous employment is less than three months; one month if the period of continuous employment is more than three months but less than five years; or three months if the period of continuous employment is five years or more. Parties can also agree on a greater or shorter length of notice, as well as waive notice or accept a payment in place of notice, under DIFC Employment Law.


There is no law stating that Maternity Leave cannot be availed during the probation period. 'Each provision contradicting the provisions hereof, even if it existed before its execution, shall be regarded null and void, unless it is more beneficial to the worker,' says Article 65 of the new UAE Labour Law. If any condition of this agreement is violated, any discharge, reconciliation, or surrender of the worker's rights under this agreement will be null and void.'
The new UAE labour law does not state anything about the right of a woman to seek maternity leave after the end of the probation period. However, it does state that an employer shall grant a female worker maternity leave upon her request at any time starting from the last day of the month preceding immediately the month in which she is expected to give birth- in a condition that the delivery takes place at least 6 months or more in pregnancy. This will have to be proven by a certificate issued by the medical authority.

Article 30 of the new law states the following:
1) A female worker shall be entitled to a maternity leave of 60 days if the following conditions are met:
A) Full pay for the first 45 days; and 
B) Half pay for the next 15 days.

The new law also protects working women in the private sector from being sacked because they are pregnant.

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