FNC questions law change depriving diplomats’ wives of work leave

Until it was annulled in 2008, a decree permitted wives of diplomats to take unpaid leave from their jobs while their husband were stationed abroad.

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AN FNC member has urged the Government to re-enact a decree that allowed women who work to join their husbands on diplomatic missions overseas.

Until it was annulled in 2008, Article 60 of Federal Decree Number 11 permitted wives to take unpaid leave from their jobs while their husband were stationed abroad.

At the FNC session yesterday, Mohammed Al Ameri questioned Humaid Al Qattami, Education Minister and chairman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, about the reasons behind the changes.

“It has created a great dilemma for wives,” Mr Al Ameri said. “Should they resign from their jobs or should they stay and raise the children alone? This has created depression and desperation for the family as a whole.”

He added that many GCC countries not only provided leave for diplomats’ wives, but also paid them half their salaries while absent from work.

“We are only asking for this article to return,” he said. The cancellation of the article contradicts another law, Article 14 of the Constitution, which states that a complete family is the basis of a healthy, patriotic society, he said.

In a written response, Mr Al Qattami said that when the federal government wants to withdraw any HR procedure, all ministers are consulted and the decision is presented to a ministerial committee.

“It was discovered that federal parties suffered a lack of functioning since the employees are far from their jobs, so the decision to cancel it was issued,” he said.

The minister agreed to pass on Mr Al Ameri’s recommendations and reconsider the issue.