UAE To Soon Get Longer Maternity & Paternity Leaves

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
UAE To Soon Get Longer Maternity & Paternity Leaves

This is the best news you would’ve heard today! The UAE government has decided to increase the maternity and paternity leave. The move is an initiative to encourage women to continue working, even after having kids. Mona Al Marri, vice president of the UAE Gender Balance Council, also announced that flexible working hours and part-time work were also on the cards. This is just awesome, UAE! Take a bow!

4 Facts We Know So Far

1. Maternity Leave- Revisions 

Until now, women in the UAE are eligible for ninety days maternity leave- three months paid leave, followed by three months’ half-pay leave and then another three months of unpaid leave. This is the normal package followed till date. However, the council is now studying legislation from Scandinavian countries- known for its gender equality.


“We want to have longer maternity leave and are pushing for more days to be added… to take care of newborns,” said Ms Al Marri, speaking at the Global Women’s Forum in Dubai on Sunday. However, she also added that in order for the new rule to be effective, paternity leave must also be extended. Right now, the paternity leave is only three days.

However, it is still unclear when the new policies will come into effect. “Hopefully, it won’t be long given the speed at which the UAE government works but we need to evaluate all aspects before these policies are implemented”, said Ms Al Marri.

2. Holidays

As of 1 Marc 2017, Dubai’s public sector employees will be given three months maternity leave, with full pay. Soon, this tenure is expected to be extended. The Abu Dhabi government has extended the maternity leave policy for women, giving three months paid maternity leave and allowing them to leave two hours early for a year after the baby is born.

However, private sector employees are qualified for 45 days of scheduled leave. After the maternity leave is over, women can take up to 100 days extra leave if the lady or the child has has health issues.

3. Returning To Work

The new legislation also allows working moms an extra hour off a day for breastfeeding. Women can start their day late or finish early to avail this extra hour.

4. Paternity Leave

Fathers in the UAE now receive three days of paid leave. The country does not impose any paternity leave laws, so it is up to the employer to decide whether to provide paternity leave or not.