Question: I have been working in a private company for four months now. My probation will end in August 2022. In my internal work contract, it is mentioned that I will not be entitled to any maternity leave during the probationary period. According to the new UAE Labour Law, am I entitled to take a maternity leave as soon as the probation period ends? What does the law state with regard to the provision in my work contract that stipulates that I am not entitled to maternity leave until six months have passed from the end of the probation period?
Answer: The condition mentioned in your contract shall be deemed as null and you have the right to take this leave even if you are on probation, provided the delivery takes place six months or more into a pregnancy.
Article 65 of the new UAE Labour Law states: ‘Each provision contradicting the provisions hereof, even if it was existing prior to its enforcement, shall be deemed null and void, unless it is more beneficial to the worker. Each discharge, reconciliation or waiver of the rights arising for the worker hereunder shall be null and void if it violates its provisions.’
The new UAE Labour Law does not specify the woman’s right to maternity leave after the end of probation period. On the contrary, it states that the employer shall grant a female worker maternity leave upon her request at any time, starting from the last day of the month preceding immediately the month in which she is expected to give birth — in a condition that the delivery takes place at least six months or more into a pregnancy.
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It is mentioned in Article 30 of the new law:
1) The female worker shall be entitled to a maternity leave of 60 days, according to the following provisions:
A) The first 45 days with full wage; and
B) The following 15 days with half wage.
The female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave as mentioned in Clause (1) of this Article if the delivery takes place six months or more after a pregnancy, whether the foetus is born dead or alive or died after delivery. The employer shall grant the female worker a maternity leave upon her request at any time, starting from the last day of the month preceding immediately the month in which she is expected to give birth. This will have to be proven by a certificate issued by the medical authority.