The government of Dubai has
enacted maternity leave reforms under which female state employees can request
up to 120 days rather than the statutory 90, it announced on Sunday.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a new decree on maternity and childcare leave for
female government employees.
Under the new rules – which
came into force on March 1 and supercede any previous legislation, according to
state news agency WAM – any full-time or part-time employee in a permanent
position is entitled to 90 days’ paid maternity leave from the date of
The employee can also apply
to start her maternity leave 30 days before her due date on the condition that
the leave is taken continuously. Crucially, the employee can also combine
maternity leave, regular annual leave, and leave without pay, for a maximum of
120 days’ leave.
The Decree aims to promote a
balance between career and family, support the rights of working women and
provide a legal framework for improving gender balance in the workplace, WAM
It includes other new
reforms, including the provision of sick leave to a state employee who has
suffered a miscarriage before the 24th week of her pregnancy, and 60 days
maternity leave for an employee who suffered a stillbirth or miscarriage after
the 24th week.
An employee who gave birth to
a child with a disability is entitled to childcare leave of one year, which is
renewable up to a maximum of three years based on an approved medical report
and official approval from the relevant government department.
The decree also states that
Dubai Government entities must establish a nursery for employees’ children
below the age of four if the total number of children of all female employees
within the entity is over 20.
If the total number of
children is less than 20, two or more government entities can jointly establish
a nursery, it adds. Government entities may also contract nurseries close to
their headquarters if required.
The provisions, which are to
be published in the Official Gazette, will be applied retrospectively to
current maternity leave and nursing breaks of Dubai Government female