The UAE has taken another step in the right direction, with the announcement that government employees in Abu Dhabi will receive an extra month of maternity leave.
Fathers will also receive three days of paternity leave.
The changes to maternity leave came as part of a new law issued by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Emir of Abu Dhabi.
The new law entitles women to three months of paid leave, and permits them two hours a day for a year to take care of their newborns.
The previous law only entitled new mothers to two months of maternity leave and an hour a day to spend with their babies.
Government workers were happy to hear about the extended leave, with one lady, Khawla Saleh telling The National: “An extra month of maternity and an extra hour a day is great. It will help mothers to breastfeed their child for 30 more days, which is something we try to promote.
“These extra 30 days do a lot in terms of child development and emotional bonding with the mother.”
WHAT’S THE SITUATION LIKE IN DUBAI?
Recently, Dubai employees have been pressuring private companies to increase maternity leave from the current 45 days.
As a result, one private company, Omnicom Media Group MENA have recently increased their maternity leave to 90 days.
Materials handling provider company Chep also increased their leave period for new mothers to four months, allowing employees to extend it with their assigned paid and unpaid leave days.
WHAT ELSE WAS IN THE NEW LAW?
Aside from maternity leave, the new law also obliges government bodies to employ and appoint people with disabilities in jobs suitable for their conditions.
Government agencies must also allow their employees who meet the requirements of national service to serve.