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Question: What maternity leave is a female employee entitled
Answer: A working woman is entitled to 45 days maternity leave
with full pay which includes the period before and after the delivery,
provided she has served continuously for not less than one year. The
maternity leave is granted with half pay if the woman has not
completed one year of service.
At the end of the maternity leave, a working woman has the right to
extend her maternity leave for a maximum period of l0 days without
pay. This unpaid leave can be continuous or interrupted, if the
interruption is caused by illness which prevents her from coming to
work. The illness must be confirmed by a certified government
physician licenced by the competent health
Maternity leave in either of the above cases is not deducted from any
other leave that a female employee is entitled to.
During the 18 months following delivery, a female employee who nurses
her child has the right to have two daily intervals which do not
exceed half an hour each for the purpose of nursing her child. These
additional intervals are considered part of her working hours and no
deduction in wages can be made.
+ Free zone women employees also entitled to maternity leave.
Paternity leave is not provided for under the Law
in Dubai mainland.
However, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) employees will
get five days of statutory paternity leave as per the new employment
law as the country looks at gender equality at workplace, effective
from August 28, 2019.
Question: My wife recently joined a medical centre. As
per her contract, she cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining
work. Is this legal? Can they deny us our basic right?
Answer: Maternity leave refers to taking time off after birth.
A woman's rights, when it comes to pregnancy and infant care, are
addressed by Federal Law No 8/1980, the UAE Labour Law.
Article 30 of the UAE Labour Law provides 45 days' maternity leave
with full pay which includes the time before and after delivery,
provided her employment duration is not less than a year.
However, if the employment duration is less than a year, she is
entitled to the same maternity leave with half pay. Furthermore,
Article 7 states that any condition mentioned in the employment
contract which is inconsistent with the provision of this law shall be
deemed null and void.
Therefore, the condition as mentioned in your wife's contract that she
'cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining work', is null and
void. Thus, it is your wife's legal right to avail 45 days' maternity
leave with full pay if she has completed one year. Otherwise, she is
entitled to 45 days leave with half pay.
Question: I am a working lady and can I take maternity leave
more than once?
Answer: 'A female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave with
full pay for a period of 45 days, including the period
preceding and the period following her confinement, on condition that
she has been in her employer's service for a continuous period of not
less than one year. If she has not completed the aforesaid period of
service, she shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay.
On the expiry of her maternity leave a female worker may be absent
from her work without pay for a maximum period of 100
consecutive or non-consecutive days if such absence is due to an
illness preventing her from resuming her work and if the illness
confirmed by the medical service specified by the competent health
authority or if the latter authority confirms that the illness was
caused by the woman's work or confinement.
Therefore the above mentioned article gives the right for every
working lady for maternity pay for every birth and even with
service of less than one year.
Can maternity leave be denied in UAE free zones?
As per the UAE Labour Law, a female employee is entitled to maternity
leave even if the company she is working with is not under the purview
of the Ministry of Labour. The UAE Labour Law is applicable to all
companies, whether they are under the Ministry of Labour or a free
Dubai Govt staff to get 3-month maternity
Women workers in the government sector are entitled to three-month
paid maternity leave effective from 2017 March 1. The maternity leave
can be combined with regular leave or unpaid leave, but for a maximum
period of 120 days.
The time for breastfeeding has been extended from one to two hours a
day, effective from the day of delivery for a full year. These paid
hours, to be reduced to one hour during the holy month of Ramadan, can
be availed in the beginning or at the end of the daily working hours.
In the case of abortion or giving birth to a stillborn, the working
woman shall be entitled to sick leave based on a report officially
attested by a medical committee. The mother of a special needs baby
shall be given fully paid leave, the period of which will be
determined by the official medical committee as per the baby's
Earlier, working mothers in the public sector were entitled to only
two-month maternity leave against 45 days for those working in the
The emirates of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah recently revised their laws to
give pregnant working mothers an extended leave with full pay.
The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in
September 2016 issued a law giving government employees in Abu Dhabi a
three-month paid maternity leave, and a three-day paternity leave.
Emirati working women were also given the right to sign out two hours
earlier for one year from the day of giving birth.
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammead Al Qasimi, Member of the
Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, also issued a decree in November
2016 whereby the maternity leave in the emirate was extended to 120
days; including 90 paid and 30 unpaid days. (KT)
Article 120 of UAE Labour Law
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