Women in Dubai are quickly learning about their rights to maternity leave, under the UAE labour law. The law recently changed in March 2017. Under the UAE Labour Law, employees on a permanent contract can look forward to at least six weeks for maternity leave.
The maternity leave period must be fully paid and include time before and after delivery. This stands as long as the employee in question has been working for over a year. If the contract has lasted for less than a year, the pay is half but the time remains the same.
A woman nursing their baby is also entitled to a couple of hour breaks each day until their child’s first birthday. This period begins after the birth, and these additional breaks cannot result in deductions in pay or dismissal.
Private sector employees can increase their level of maternity leave to another fifty five days. But, the last ten will be without pay. Typically, this will be granted even if the days are interrupted if it is due to an illness.
Women employed in government sectors gain an increased leave of three months paid or a maximum of 100 days without pay. They can leave their job twice a day to feed their baby without ramifications.
In the finance sector, women have even higher levels of protection. They cannot be dismissed due to maternity leave or being pregnant. As well as this, women are entitled to 65 days minimum maternity leave, half paid and half unpaid.
Length Of Leave
Length of leave, with exception to the minimum periods, is still based in the hands of the employer. For this reason, many women in Dubai are choosing the companies they work for more carefully. Business owners that offer women more leave are gaining a significant advantage in the market.
Many women working in Dubai are expats and would prefer to give birth in their home country. Giving birth in your home country would require a more extended leave period.
Some businesses have expanded maternity leave periods dramatically with companies offering extended paid leave and an extra three months unpaid. Some companies have even started to provide paternity leave which is already common in the rest of Europe.
Indeed, the UAE now has a committee set up and designated with the role of empowering women in the workforce. That’s not surprising considering that in 2016 the UAE set a goal to become one of the top 25 countries in the world for gender equality.
Insurance During Pregnancy
It’s important to know that in the UAE, it’s not a legal requirement for employees to provide insurance coverage for pregnancy.
Without insurance, pregnancies can be rather expensive. That’s why it’s essential to check whether your insurance provider covers you.
You also need to be aware that even if they do offer coverage, you will still lose it if your employment is terminated during your pregnancy.
You should check with your employer on the type of protection that they can offer you. It may also be worth looking into action you can take against discrimination due to pregnancy in the workplace.