The arrival of a new born child marks a very significant milestone in any family, one where the potential of the future has no limit and where hope abounds in a little bundle of joy. But there is also the realisation that the first weeks of any child’s new life create bonds and cement relationships that last for decades.
And having both parents there to experience and share those early days and weeks of development builds an unshakeable foundation for the future.
Now, thanks to a new amendment to the UAE’s labour laws, new fathers working in the private sector are now entitled to take five working days holidays to share those precious and life-binding moments.
It is a very real step in creating an equitable and fair balance between both genders, recognising both parents’ roles and responsibilities when it comes to the arrival of a new family member
The amendments to the labour law were approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and mark a very significant and progressive step forward for families and fathers in the UAE.
Indeed, it needs to be noted that this nation is the first in the Arab World to institute such a policy, one that exists only in limited other jurisdictions around the world.
Progressive legislative change
This progressive legislative change also represents a significant advancement when it comes to balancing the traditions roles of bot fathers and mothers in the home.
It is a very real step in creating an equitable and fair balance between both genders, recognising both parents’ roles and responsibilities when it comes to the arrival of a new family member.
The new law now allows new fathers to take five working days’ leave anytime during the first six months of the baby’s arrival.
For new parents, these days and weeks can often be chaotic — especially when there is no other support system in place for expatriate families, and certainly welcome when extended family members are there to help with the excitement of the new arrival.
This period of leave presents an opportunity for fathers to bond with their child, creating ties that last a lifetime and sharing in the most critical and intimate life-shaping period of little lives.
For too many fathers, the focus is naturally on ensuring the economic well-being of the family unit. Now, by sharing in the first weeks of a child’s development, there is a different focus for Dads.
But there is also an important message here — a recognition that fathers are important, and families too are important. That’s a philosophy that has been a central tenet of this nation since its foundation.