Welcoming a newborn baby into this world is one of the most pivotal moments in most individuals’ lives and it is indeed a happy moment. There are a lot of important things to do and take care of during this period for both the parents and the duties and responsibilities get tougher as well. 

During this time, it might be difficult for the parents to manage their professionals while nursing a young one at home. Females may face this issue the most since its most cases and according to UAE society, the female has to take care of the child a lot more than the father, who is seen as someone who has to provide for his family financially. 

Up until recently, the UAE government had not had any laws regarding leaves for private sector employees and hence if they did take days off due to their child being born, they would risk getting their salaries deducted. 

Recently, the UAE revised its laws and now under the new laws, private sector employees are entitled to paternity and maternity leaves to end the disparity between the government and private sector. The government sector employees already enjoyed this benefit. 

This new law was amended and approved by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE in August 2020. 

Maternity And Paternity Leave In Federal Government 

The maternity leave for female employees in the federal government is entitled to three months of full leave after the delivery of the baby. This leave will be fully paid for. 

According to this law, the father can avail a maximum of three days of paternity leave in the same month as the baby is born to help the mother! 

Moreover, when the female employee does join back the company, she will be entitled to take 2 hours off every day from the normal working hours to nurse her child. This leave may be taken at the end or the beginning of working hours. This leave is applicable for four months. 

Maternity And Paternity Leave In The Private Sector

Maternity leaves for private sector female employees are about 45 days, but they total to about 60 days since the weekends are not counted as working days. 

The main difference made in the law is to the paternity aspect of the law, which states that the fathers of the child are now eligible for five days of fully paid leaves to be taken within six months of the baby being born. This is a landmark decision and the first of its kind in the gulf region. These changes are made to showcase the newer and modern take on gender discrimination in the UAE and are one of the aspects of the Vision 2021 of the UAE. 

Maternity Leaves Laws In Other Emirates 

Maternity law is a bit different in the emirate of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

In Dubai, a female employee can apply for maternity leave of 90 days, one month before the expected date of delivery to prepare for it. Moreover, annual leave and unpaid days of leave can be combined with maternity leave to take the maximum number of fully paid leaves to 120. 

Another change between this and the federal law states that upon rejoining, female employees will have 2 hours reduced from their normal working hours for up to a year to help them nurse their child. This leave can be taken before the start or the end of the working hours. For federal employees, this leave is applicable for four months. 

In Dubai, the fathers can avail of a fully paid 3-day paternity leave in the same month as the baby is born! 

The laws are the same for the government employees of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. 

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Important Information Regarding These Laws 

How Long Must One Be An Employee Of A Company To Avail Of This Benefit 

There are no set rules for public sector employees when it comes to any prerequisites like that. Both paternity and maternity leaves can be applied for whenever needed for government employees. 

However, things are a bit different for female private sector employees who need to have served the company they are working in for at least 365 days for them to be eligible for the 45-day fully paid maternity leave. For private sector men, there is no such requirement for them to apply for the three-day leave. 

What Are The Supporting Documents Needed To Apply For Paternity Or Maternity Leave

Officially, there are no such documents that are required by the government to show the birth of a baby. There are no hospital records or any such documents which are needed at the time of availing the leaves. 

However, private sector companies may ask for proof or supporting medical documents at their discretion to help curb the misuse of the policy and for internal audits as well. 

In Case Of Multiple Births, Will The Leaves Be Extended

No, even if you are having twins or triplets or any number of children at the same time, the days fixed for paternity or maternity leaves will not be changed for both private or public employees. 

If The Baby Is Born Overseas, Can The Father Avail Of These Leaves

No, the law specifically states that for both federal and private sector male employees, their baby must be born in the UAE for them to be eligible to apply for the paternity law! 

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The joy of welcoming a new life can be overwhelming and the responsibilities that come with it can be even more so. The UAE has recently amended these laws and it is vital to know your rights as an expat so that you can smoothly handle the process of childbirth and what follows subsequently so that you can enjoy and handle your personal life without denting your career. 

Due to the recent change in laws, private-sector males can also enjoy paternity leaves of up to 3 days in the month of the delivery to help the mother of the child. Moreover, the periods also increased for maternity leaves for public sector employees. It is vital to know your rights as soon-to-be parents in the UAE!