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I have worked in a company in Dubai for a year on my husband’s visa. I am now eight months pregnant. Am I entitled to maternity leave even if I am not on the company’s sponsorship? I have a temporary work permit from the labour ministry. My labour contract states that I am not entitled to maternity leave as I am not on the company’s visa. My company is allowing me to take 30 days’ annual leave with basic salary.

The questioner is entitled to maternity leave even if she is not on the company’s visa as long as she is working on an official work permit.

Article 30 of Federal Law No (8) of 1980 states that a female worker is entitled to 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay, including the periods preceding and following her confinement, on condition that she has been in her employer’s service for a continuous period of not less than a year. Otherwise, she is entitled to maternity leave with half pay. On the expiry of maternity leave, a female worker may avail of leave without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days if such an absence is due to an illness confirmed by a registered medical authority.

Maternity leave shall not be deducted from other types of leave.

Non-payment of salary

I have been working in a company in Dubai for more than five years. A month ago, I resigned because I was not paid my salary for six months. I hoped to claim these dues along with my end-of-service benefits, but my company is refusing to pay. I also did not take any annual leave for three years. Can I encash it?

According to Article 6, amended, of Federal Labour Law No 8 of 1980, the questioner is entitled to his end-of-service benefits in addition to his pending salary. However, the employee is entitled to only two years pending annual leave.

If there is a dispute in this regard, the parties can approach the labour department with evidence. The department will summon the two parties to the dispute and try to settle the dispute amicably.

If an amicable settlement is not reached, the department must within two weeks from the date of taking up the case, forward the dispute to the concerned court, accompanied with a note including a summary of the dispute, the arguments of the two parties and its observations. The court shall, within three days of receiving the request, fix a sitting to consider the claim and the two parties shall be notified. The court may summon a representative of the labour department to explain the note.

Note that no claim under the provisions of this law shall be heard if brought to court after the lapse of one year from the date on which such an entitlement became due, and no claim shall be admitted if the procedure stated in this article is not adhered to.

Questions answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.