In the new UAE Labour Law law, employees have been given a parental leave and the entitlement of maternity leaves has been extended to 60 days, as compared to the earlier maternity leave of 45 days. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: With the new UAE Labour Law - Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the regulation of labour relations – coming into effect from February 2, 2022, new mums in the UAE can expect longer maternity leaves, with men also eligible for a 'parental leave'.

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

Article 30 of the newly announced law covers details of a female worker’s rights during maternity leaves and Article 32 – titled ‘other leaves’ – also covers 'parental 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 and men may take, after the birth of their child.

Maternity Leave - 45 days with full pay, 15 days with half pay

The new UAE Labour Law allows women to take a total of 60 days maternity leave - with the first 45 days being on full pay, and the rest of the 15 days being on half pay. In case of a medical complication, women also have the option to further extend the leave, but they need to keep in mind the requirements that need to be fulfilled. Here is a detailed look at what Article 30 of the UAE Labour Law states:

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.

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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.

Paternity leave - 5 days

New dads can avail of a five day leave after the birth of their child, as one of the leaves introduced in the new law is a five day parental leave. 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.

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