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Dubai government issues new maternity leave law



His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, has issued a new decree concerning maternity leave for women working in Dubai’s government sector.

Issued earlier this week, decree 14 of 2017 will support the rights of working women and provide a legal framework that aims to enhance gender balance.

The law, that has been placed under immediate effect, states that any full-time or part-time employee working in a permanent position is entitled to 90 days of maternity leave from the date of delivery.

The new law also states that the employee can apply to start maternity leave 30 days before her due date on the condition that the leave is taken continuously. The employee can also combine maternity leave, regular annual leave and leave without pay for a maximum of 120 days.

The new rule also states that any employee who gives birth to a child with a disability will be entitled to childcare leave for one year. This leave can be renewed for a period of three years, however, a medical report and approval from the concerned senior government official needs to be provided.

On the basis of payment, decree 14 of 2017 states that the employee is entitled to her basic monthly salary for both maternity and childcare leave. It also states that all weekends and official public holidays are considered part of the maternity or childcare leave.

The rule does not affect those working in the private sector meaning that as per Article 30 of the UAE Federal Labour Law an employee is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days which includes the time before and after the baby’s delivery, provided that she has been working for her company for a year.

If the employee has not completed a full year then she is only entitled to half of her pay during her maternity leave.

That said, an employee can take up to 100 days of unpaid leave on the basis that she has an attested medical report stating that she is unable to work as a result of a pregnancy related illness.

It is important to note that companies working in a free zone follow their own set of rules and policies regarding maternity leave.

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