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Maternity Leave in UAE

Every morning when I wake up, I feel tired and exhausted as if I did not sleep during the night. It is but normal to have this feeling as I am starting with the 9th month of my pregnancy. I already submitted my maternity leave and in less than a month I will be giving birth and have a heaping 45 calendar days vacations (cheers to that :P)

When we say maternity leave and if you happen to be in this part of the world-Dubai, United Arab Emirates, these guidelines will sure be helpful for you. My company is incorporated under the laws of the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC.)

Under the DIFC Employment Law, a pregnant women is entitled to the following:

35 Maternity Leave

(1) An employee shall be entitled to a minimum maternity leave of (3) three months if she:
(a) has been continuously employed with an employer for at least twelve (12) months preceding the eighth week before the expected week of childbirth;
(b) notifies her employer in writing that she is pregnant at least eight (8) weeks before the expected week of childbirth;
(c) if required by the employer, provides a medical practitioner's certificate stating the expected or actual birth date; and
(d) notifies her employer in writing at least twenty-one (21) days before the day the employee proposes to begin her maternity leave.

(2) The maternity rights granted under this Law apply to a female employee who is adopting a child of less than three (3) months old and, in such case, references to childbirth are treated as references to the date of adoption.

36 Maternity Pay

(1) An employer shall pay maternity pay at:
(a) the employee's normal weekly rate for the first forty-five (45) days of maternity leave; and
(b) at fifty (50) per cent of the employee's normal weekly rate for the next forty-five (45) days of maternity leave.


(2) An employee cannot receive compensation in lieu of maternity leave.

37 Right to Return to Work

(1) An employer shall not, because of an employee's pregnancy or maternity leave:
(a) terminate employment; or
(b) change the position or condition of employment without the employee's prior written consent.


(2) An employee has the right to return to work at the end of maternity leave granted under Article 35 on the same terms and conditions, and with same seniority rights she would have had, had she not taken maternity leave.

The Employment Law of DIFC re Maternity is almost the same as that of the Dubai Laws-states that:

9.4 Maternity Leave

A working woman is entitled to 45 days maternity leave with full pay which includes the period before and after the delivery, provided she has served continuously for not less than one year. The maternity leave is granted with half pay if the woman has not completed one year of service.
At the end of the maternity leave, a working woman has the right to extend her maternity leave for a maximum period of l0 days without pay. This unpaid leave can be continuous or interrupted, if the interruption is caused by illness which prevents her from coming to work. The illness must be confirmed by a certified government physician licenced by the competent health
authority.


Maternity leave in either of the above cases is not deducted from any other leave that a female employee is entitled to.
During the 18 months following delivery, a female employee who nurses her child has the right to have two daily intervals which do not exceed half an hour each for the purpose of nursing her child. These additional intervals are considered part of her working hours and no deduction in wages can be made.
~11~
Paternity leave is not provided for under the Law.