NAT_190523-maternity-leave-(Read-Only)
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Dubai: Workers in the UAE’s private sector will soon be able to avail more flexible work models as well as various types of leaves, that are aimed at enhancing workforce productivity and talent retention.

The new law – Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the regulation of labour relations – was announced in November and will come into effect from February 2, 2022.

In the new law, employees have been given various special leaves. Also, the entitlement of maternity leaves has been extended to 60 days, as compared to 45 days.

While Article 30 of the newly announced law covers details of a female worker’s rights during maternity leaves, Article 32 – titled ‘other leaves’ – also covers Paternal leave, which can be availed by both the father or mother of a child. Here is a detailed look at what the two articles say about the leaves that women may take, after the birth of their child.

Article (30) Maternity Leave

1. A female worker shall be entitled to a maternity leave of 60 days as follows:

a. The first 45 days with full pay.

b. The next 15 days with half pay.

2. A female worker who exhausts her maternity leave may be absent from work without pay for no more than 45 successive or interrupted days, if such absence is due to illness occurring to her or her child as a result of pregnancy or delivery and preventing her to report to work. Such illness shall be proved by a medical certificate issued by the medical institution, and such period shall not be counted in the period of service for which the female worker is entitled to severance pay or subscription to the pension system according to the legislation in force in the UAE.

Also read:

3. A female worker shall be entitled to the maternity leave stated in paragraph (1) above, if delivery takes place after six months of pregnancy or above, whether the child is stillborn or born alive then died.

4. A female worker who delivers a sick child or a child with special needs ‘People of Determination’ whose health condition requires a continuous escort based on a medical report from the medical institution, shall be entitled to 30 days' leave with full pay, commencing from the expiry of the maternity leave. Such period can be extended for another 30 days.

5. The employer shall grant the female worker a maternity leave where she requests so at any time starting from the last day of the month preceding the month of delivery, as evidenced by a certificate from the medical institution.

6. A female worker obtaining the maternity leave or the absence from work referred to in this Article shall not lose her right to other leaves.

7. If a female worker works for another employer during the period of leave stated in this Article, her employer may deprive her of her wage for the period of leave, or recover any wages paid to her.

8. It shall not be permissible to terminate, or give notice to a female worker by reason of pregnancy or for having obtained maternity leave or absence from work pursuant to the provisions of this Article.

9. A female worker shall be entitled, after reporting back to work from maternity leave and for a period not exceeding six months following the date of delivery, to one or two breaks per day to nurse her child, provided that such period does not exceed one hour.

Clause 1 (b) of Article 32 states:

1. A worker shall be entitled to paid leave in the following cases:

b. Paternal leave for five working days for the worker (father or mother) who had a child, in order to take care of his child. Such leave shall be taken successively or otherwise during the period of six months following the date of birth of the child.