Given its year-round sunny climate and endless family-friendly attractions, the UAE is an amazing place to raise a family, and now there's even more reason to start or grow your brood in the Emirates.
Today, the government announced that women in the UAE will now receive three months paid maternity leave. The Khaleej Times reports that it's currently only available to Federal Government employees though there's hope that it will soon be expanded to all mums in the future.
It’s a positive and long-awaited step forward for women in the region who currently are legally entitled to only 45 days of fully paid maternity leave, if they have worked for a year or more for the company. Women who have worked for less than a year receive half pay for the same period.
The change will take four months to take effect. It was announced by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of his Federal Law 17 for the year 2016, which amended some articles referring to the federal government’s human resources policies.
The amended law will also allow women a two-hour daily break to breastfeed their children for four months after giving birth.
Shaikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Women Establishment, took to Twitter after the announcement saying, "We are grateful for our leadership’s continuous support in women’s participation leading UAE women to achieve global recognition."
Happy to announce the UAE's 3 month maternity leave. I wish all working mothers prosperity and success in their careers and personal lives— Manal MR AL Maktoum (@MMbinRashid) November 13, 2016
We are grateful for our leaderships continuous support in women's participation leading UAE women to achieve global recognition— Manal MR AL Maktoum (@MMbinRashid) November 13, 2016
The announcement brings the rest of the UAE in line with the Abu Dhabi government’s decision to grant three-month maternity leave and three-day paternity leave for government employees at the end of September.