Maternity Leave in UAE
We are sending a message of thanks & appreciation to each working mother and her family, who are the nucleus of a happy, healthy society
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) January 18, 2017
UPDATE: Mothers in Sharjah(visa in Sharjah) will be granted 60 days of paid leave as per the new rule approved by Sharjah Executive Council.
Federal Government employees get 3-month Maternity Leave: Khaleej Times
As per the latest release, Dubai Government employees are eligible for 3 months of maternity leave. Please read.
As a parent, you may have the following doubts regarding maternity leave as per UAE Labour Law:
- Is maternity leave paid in UAE?
- How to calculate maternity leave in UAE?
- Maternity leave rules for expats in UAE.
- Working hours for pregnant women in UAE
- What is the rule of maternity leave
- Maternity leave in UAE for expats
- Maternity leave for private sector
- How is maternity leave pay calculated
In this post, we will try to answer as many questions as possible.
The number of days given as maternity leave varies between the private sector and public sector and the working conditions (HR Policies) set up the company. When compared to other countries maternity leave benefit in UAE is a bit shorter.
How is maternity leave calculated in UAE? Is maternity leave paid in UAE?
As per the Federal Labour Law UAE Article (30), a working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of forty-five days (45 Days) including the time before and after delivery, provided that her continuous period of service with the employer is not less than a year (1 year). But if a working woman has not completed the said period, the maternity leave shall be with half pay.
Maternity leave pay is calculated on gross salary, inclusive of basic and allowances. Maternity leave is calculated based on calendar days (not working days), which means that weekends are included as part of the allowance
According to the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), “a federal decree-law amending some provisions of the regulation on labour relations was approved, under which male and female private-sector employees are given a paid parental leave for five working days to look after their babies, effective from the baby’s date of birth until he is 6sixmonths old.
The new parental leave period of five working days is valid from the day of the baby’s birth until he or she reaches six months old, and it can be claimed by both fathers and mothers. These extra five days can be used in addition to the already-established maternity leave allowance for women.
Since the UAE’s maternity leave allowance for private-sector employees is already 45 calendar days, this in effect gives new mums in the UAE an extra five days of maternity leave, taking the overall parental leave allowance for women working in the private sector up to 50 days.
Can the employee extend the maternity leave in UAE?
A working woman, on the expiry of the maternity leave, may discontinue work without pay for a maximum period of one hundred (100) consecutive or intermittent days if such absence is due to illness that doesn’t enable her to resume work. Such evidence shall be evidenced by a medical certificate issued by a medical authority attested by the competent health authority or endorsed by such authorities to the effect that the illness resulted from pregnancy or delivery.
Can the employer terminate the contract during the employee while on maternity leave or during her pregnancy?
UAE Labour Law does not specify any specific provision regarding the termination of the employment contract during the employee while on maternity leave or while she is pregnant. However, in case if the employer terminates the contract without any specific reasons, the employee has the right to claim against her employer in the UAE Labour Court.
What is the difference between parental leave and maternity leave?
The new parental leave benefit is available for both male and female employees, whereas the statutory maternity leave entitlement is only available for female employees.
The parental leave entitlement is also 5 working days, whereas the maternity leave allowance is 45 calendar days. Calendar days mean that regular weekend days and any public holidays are included as part of your allowance.
Can a woman add a parental leave to her maternity leave so that she would effectively have 45 calendar days, plus 5 extra days? Could this be viewed as extended maternity leave?
“Yes, subject to agreement between the employee and their employer, this type of arrangement would be acceptable.”
Can the parental leave be taken in addition to the 100 sick days of unpaid leave that may be taken, if necessary, by a new mother in the UAE?
Yes, the new parental leave benefit is separate (and in addition) to the unpaid sick leave days which a female employee may be entitled to under the UAE Labour Law.
Does the maternity leave is considered while calculating the end of service payment?
Yes, the 45 calendar days of maternity leave is considered towards the employee’s length of service while computing gratuity. However, the unpaid leaves if any taken in addition to the maternity leave would not be taken into account for the end of service gratuity purposes.
What are the Breastfeeding break for female employees in private sector?
As per Article (31), in addition to any prescribed rest period, a working woman nursing her child shall, during the eighteen months following the date of delivery, be entitled to two additional breaks each day for this purpose, neither of which shall exceed half an hour (30 minutes each). Most of the companies do let you combine every 30 minutes into an hour and reduce the working hours by 1 hour per day for the first 18 months after rejoining work.
These two additional periods (1 hour daily) shall be considered as working hours and shall not cause any reduction of remuneration.
It is essential for a mother to bond with her newborn for a long time after birth. The child needs quality care, feeding, and attention from the mother.
The initial maternity leave allowance for the public sector is 60 days with full pay initially and with a further allowance of 100 days of un-remunerated leave thereafter.
Female employees in a permanent position in the federal government are entitled to 90 days paid maternity leave and male employees are entitled to 3 days’ paternity leave. Leaves vary for the employees of local governments.
Ministry of Labour should consider at least 90 paid leave as maternity leave to women to be able to bond with their newborn as is a practice in many western and developed countries.