Fathers working in UAE's private sector given parental leave for first time

Fathers working in UAE's private sector given parental leave for first time
Fathers working in UAE's private sector given parental leave for first time

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Fathers working in UAE's private sector given parental leave for first time and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Private-sector workers are now entitled to more parental leave after an order from President Sheikh Khalifa on Sunday.

The new law obliges private companies to provide male and female employees with five days of paid parental leave, to be taken within six months of the child's birth.

Previously, UAE law did not require private sector companies to provide the leave to male staff, although companies could include paid paternity leave at their discretion.

Male public sector workers are given three paid working days off after the birth of a child. It is unclear if Sunday's ruling also applies to government workers.

Currently, women working in government departments in the UAE are given 90 days of paid leave. Depending on the emirate, they are allowed more time in unpaid leave.

Women working in the private sector are entitled to 45 days of full pay for maternity leave, provided they have served continuously for at least a year.

Maternity leave is paid with half pay if a year of service has yet to be completed.

At the end of the maternity leave, the woman can extend her leave without pay for a maximum of 10 days.

For the first 18 months after delivery, women are given two paid rest intervals a day, not exceeding 30 minutes, to nurse the baby.

The new law also provides women with an additional five days paid leave too.

The move aims to strengthen the UAE’s position in gender balance and encourage work in the private sector, reported state news agency Wam.

It is said to be a regional first.

Saudi Arabia's labour law stipulates that men are entitled to three days of paternity leave but it is unclear if this also applies to private-sector workers.

Lebanon also offers three days of paid paternity leave but this is rarely enforced.

Countries including Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Qatar do not provide paternal leave. Iran gives fathers two weeks.

In February, Mona Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, told The National that it was studying legislation from Scandinavian countries – regarded as global leaders in gender equality – to provide direction for local laws.

“Right now, [paternity leave] is only three days. We are pushing for longer paternity leave so that a father can spend more time with his baby,” Ms Al Marri said.

The UAE has taken great strides to encourage the retention of female staff in the workplace.

On-site childcare centres have allowed parents to bring their children into the office and ensure they are cared for while mothers and fathers work.

In 2018, a law ensuring women are paid an equal wage to their male colleagues was approved by the UAE Cabinet.

Updated: August 31, 2020 12:36 AM

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