Three-months maternity leave for Dubai Government employees

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the rules will also be applied retrospectively to women currently away from work on maternity leave and nursing breaks.

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DUBAI // Dubai Government employees will be entitled to three months of paid maternity leave under new rules coming into effect on Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the rules would apply retrospectively to women on maternity leave and nursing breaks.

New mothers will be allowed two hours off work a day for up to a year after their baby’s birth to breastfeed. During Ramadan, mothers will be granted an hour a day to feed.

Staff will be allowed to add annual and unpaid leave to maternity leave to extend it up to 120 days. An expectant mother can start her maternity leave 30 days before her due date on the condition that the leave is taken continuously.

In the event of a miscarriage before the 24th week of pregnancy, a woman is entitled to sick leave on presenting a doctor’s note. After the 24th week, or in case of stillbirth, she will be entitled to 60 days of leave.

Mothers who give birth to a baby with special needs will be entitled to one year of childcare leave, renewable to a maximum of three years based on a medical report and approval from a senior official at their workplace.

The decree states mothers will receive their basic monthly salary during maternity and childcare leave. Weekends and official holidays are considered part of the leave.

Dubai Government departments must establish a nursery for employees children below the age of 4 if the total number of children of female staff exceeds 20.

Two or more government departments can together establish a nursery if there are fewer than 20 children. They can contract nearby nurseries if they do not have adequate space.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved the decree in January, saying it was part of the Government’s efforts to support working mothers and families.

“This will help employees have closer family bonds and enhance their sense of family stability,” he said. “It will also help working mothers to play their crucial role in the family more effectively and help ensure the proper upbringing of the child.

“This is particularly important in the case of babies that have special needs, since the parents may need to provide a higher degree of care and follow-up.

“The integration of individuals with special needs into society is one of the top priorities of the Government of Dubai. It is a process that starts prior to birth.”

In September last year, Abu Dhabi announced three months of maternity leave for government employees, with three days of paternity leave for new fathers. Ras Al Khaimah made a similar announcement in November.