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The Legality of Maternity Laws In UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

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


Maternity laws regulations benefits Abstract paternity provide organised

Maternity laws: regulations and benefits


Maternity and paternity laws provide for organised rules and regulations for the ease of the parents during the pregnancy and after the birth of their babies. Having mandated leaves and provisions provide for a comfortable, healthy and positive environment for the new mother. Both private and public laws of UAE have a positive outlook towards pregnancies and childbirth and hence provide a safe environment for it.

 Motherhood is one of the most natural and beautiful things that happen to women. Women have been given the power to create and nurture life and it is the greatest blessing of all. Motherhood provides women with an opportunity to take this world forward by creating a whole new generation of beings.

As the world has progressed, women have started to work outside their households. Women have started to give importance to not just their households but also to their jobs. They want to have a fulfilling career while managing their babies and houses.

Women should not be put in a position where they are made to choose between the two. By creating laws that create a structured way for women to take maternity-related holidays while also providing them with pay so that they can take care of their infants without being worried about losing pay or their jobs.

Despite having a number of laws in the country, there is one thing in common among them all, each has some or the other provision for maternity leave and breastfeeding hours. Certain laws even provide paternity leave, so that they can spend a few days with their children and wives.

There are two major kinds of laws:

  • Private law
  • Public law

Private law:

A working woman is entitled to a maternity leave of 45 days including the time before and after delivery. If the woman has completed one year of continuous employment for the same employer, she is entitled to full payment during maternity leave; otherwise, she is entitled to half payment.

In addition, after delivery, the woman is entitled to two additional breaks each day, with each break not exceeding half an hour for nursing her child. The woman is entitled to such breaks for 18 months following the date of delivery and is entitled to full pay.

The New Labour Law will increase maternity leave entitlement from 45 calendar days to 60 calendar days, paid as follows:

  • full payment for the first 45 days; and
  • half payment for the remaining 15 days.

Maternity pay will not be decreased where a female employee takes maternity leave prior to achieving one year of service with her employer.

Female employees will also be entitled to take maternity leave as outlined above where they miscarry after six months of pregnancy, have a stillbirth or where the child dies following the birth. Where female employees give birth to a disabled or sick infant, they can take an additional 30 calendar days of maternity leave – which can be further extended by an additional 30 days of unpaid leave.

Under the New Labour Law, nursing breaks have been reduced from 18 to 6 months.

An employee’s entitlement to maternity-related “sick” leave has also been reduced from 100 to 45 (consecutive or intermittent) days.

The public law of UAE is further subdivided into 5 categories:

  1. Federal laws: The Federal Decree-Law includes regarding human resources in the federal government and its amendments; states that an employee with a permanent job is entitled to three months of paid maternity leave and an allowance of four months after she comes back to breastfeed her newborn. Although the three months paid leave cannot be combined with unpaid leave.

The federal law also has a provision for paternity leave. Wherein the father is allowed three working days off during the first month of his child’s life. 

NOTE: This is only applicable if the child is born in the country.

2.Abu Dhabi laws: Law regarding human resources in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi mentions that an employee is entitled to three months of paid maternity leave and nursing mothers are allowed to take two hours off during the beginning or end of the work day to take care of her newborn, this if for a period of one year from the birth of her child.          

Abu Dhabi laws also provide for paternity leave of three days, although executive regulations specify the control, rules and regulations of such leaves.

3. Dubai laws: Maternity laws in Dubai are regarding the Concerning Maternity, Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Childcare Leave for Female Employees of the Government of Dubai. Employees in Dubai are entitled to 90 days of paid leave from the date of the delivery, additionally, women can also apply for leave from 30 days before the date of delivery.  

Dubai government’s human resources department also provides a maternity and childhood guide; this guide provides advice to pregnant employees about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

The Law also mentions a paid paternity leave for three days in the first month of the newborns birth.

4.Sharjah Government: His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, approved a local decree to extend the maternity leave for a period of three months with the possibility of merging the balance of the employed woman’s leave with the maternity leave, with two hours of breastfeeding for a period of six months, as well as nurseries in most of the headquarters Work, which ensures that the working mother is close to her child throughout the working hours.

5. Ras Al Khaimah government :In November 2016, the Ras Al Khaimah government amended the maternity leave laws for working women to be three months with a comprehensive total salary, in line with the directions of the Emirates Council for Gender Balance.

The Ras Al Khaimah government also took the initiative in 2015 to extend the breastfeeding period to a full year, in order to enable women to exercise their maternal role.

By Kairavi shah

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