The UAE took a groundbreaking step by introducing parental leave for fathers.
Employees in the private sector are entitled to five days of paid parental leave. The leave can be taken within the first six months of the baby’s birth. This makes UAE the first Arab country to grant parental leave to employees in the private sector.
This was introduced after an amendment to the UAE Labour Law. It was approved by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, in August 2020. Previously the UAE did not mandate private sector companies to provide paternity leave to male employees, although some companies included an allowance at their own discretion.
For years, the burdens on working couples have been easing, and authorities have explored ways to better the lives of new parents. The UAE Government has now assessed the needs of resident families and taken this step to demonstrate the country’s commitment to family life.
This new rule will be important for mothers who will have the support they need, whether in the days right after the birth or in the months that follow.
Women who work in the private sector are entitled to 45 days of maternity leave at full pay provided they have been in their role for at least a year. The new law also grants mothers an additional five days of paid leave.