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Maternity Leave


Question: What maternity leave is a female employee entitled to?

Answer: 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.

Paternity leave is not provided for under the Law.

Question: My wife recently joined a medical centre. As per her contract, she cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining work. Is this legal? Can they deny us our basic right?

Answer: Maternity leave refers to taking time off after birth. A woman’s rights, when it comes to pregnancy and infant care, are addressed by Federal Law No 8/1980, the UAE Labour Law.

Article 30 of the UAE Labour Law provides 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay which includes the time before and after delivery, provided her employment duration is not less than a year.

However, if the employment duration is less than a year, she is entitled to the same maternity leave with half pay. Furthermore, Article 7 states that any condition mentioned in the employment contract which is inconsistent with the provision of this law shall be deemed null and void.

Therefore, the condition as mentioned in your wife’s contract that she ‘cannot get pregnant for 18 months after joining work’, is null and void. Thus, it is your wife’s legal right to avail 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay if she has completed one year. Otherwise, she is entitled to 45 days leave with half pay. (KT)
 

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