03 May 2024

Glory Sony

The landscape of maternity leave in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is witnessing a transformative shift, underscored by the government's commitment to fostering a supportive work environment for female employees.

Dubai: This evolution not only enhances the well-being of mothers and their newborns but also aligns with global standards of maternal care. This expanded guide delves into the intricacies of the UAE’s maternity leave policies, offering a deeper understanding of the recent changes, their implications for employers and employees, and the broader impact on workplace culture and family health.

Understanding Maternity Leave in the UAE: Beyond the Basics

Maternity leave in the UAE is designed to provide substantial support to women during one of the most crucial phases of their lives. Recognizing the dual importance of health recovery post-childbirth and the critical early bonding period between mother and child, the UAE has set forth policies that are considerate of both employer and employee needs.

Diving Deeper into UAE’s Maternity Leave Policies

The framework established by Federal Decree-Law No. (33) of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relationship (as the “Law”), that lays the groundwork for maternity leave across the Emirates, ensuring a unified approach with allowances for sector-specific and emirate-specific variations.

A Closer Examination of Policy Nuances

1.      Legal Framework and Protections:

The Law acts as the cornerstone, ensuring all female workers in the UAE are entitled to maternity leave pursuant to Article 30 (1). This includes detailed provisions for employment conditions, leave entitlements, and more, ensuring a balanced approach across the public and private sectors.

2.      Duration and Compensation:

The standard maternity leave duration is set at sixty (60) days, combining full pay and partial pay periods to support the financial stability of the new mother. This duration is adaptable, with provisions for extension based on medical or familial needs.


Recent Legislative Enhancements

Recognizing the evolving needs of the workforce, the UAE has introduced significant amendments to its maternity leave policies:

·        Extended Leave Duration: Amendments have pushed the envelope by extending the leave duration and introduction of a up to five (5) days of paternity leave. These changes reflect a modern understanding of parental roles and responsibilities.


·        Sector-Specific Adjustments: Both the public and private sectors have seen adjustments, with the public sector often offering more generous terms. These differences highlight the UAE's flexible approach, catering to the diverse needs of its workforce.

Exploring the Impact of Maternity Leave on Workplace Culture

The enhancements to maternity leave policies in the UAE are not just legal adjustments; they represent a shift towards more inclusive and family-friendly workplace cultures. By acknowledging the importance of work-life balance, mental and emotional well-being, and the developmental needs of children, these policies contribute to:

·        Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Knowing their rights are protected and their health is prioritized, female employees are likely to exhibit higher levels of job satisfaction and loyalty.

·        Stronger Family Bonds: Extended leave periods allow for uninterrupted time with newborns, laying the foundation for strong family bonds and positive long-term child development.

·        Progressive Workplace Norms: As organizations adapt to these changes, there’s a ripple effect, leading to more progressive norms around parental leave, flexibility, and gender equality in the workplace.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Maternity Leave in the UAE

As the UAE continues to refine its approach to maternity leave, the emphasis remains on balancing the needs of the workforce with those of employers. This forward-thinking stance not only enhances the UAE’s attractiveness as a place to work and live but also sets a benchmark for other nations in the region.

In Conclusion

Staying informed and proactive is key to navigate the legal landscape and leverage these changes for your benefit. Whether youre an employer seeking to update your policies or an employee planning for the future, understanding the nuances of UAE’s maternity leave laws ensures you can make the most of the benefits available.


Our team of professionals can offer valuable insights into the new regulatory frameworks of all types of leaves and other matters related to the employer/employee relationship. If you request further guidance or you have concerns and queries, Let us know!

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