President of the UAE HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has approved amendments to the current Labour law, granting private-sector employees paid leaves to care for the child.
A path-breaker in the region, UAE is the first Arab nation to grant parental leave to employees in the private sector.
The royal decree intends to further solidify family cohesion and stability, improve UAE’s position and competitiveness in the field of gender balance along with encouraging young talents to work in the private sector. The paid parental leave is the latest benefit for employees in the private sector.
As per the updated regulations through the new decree, an employee in the private sector shall be granted a paid “parental leave” for a period of five working days to care for the child, from the date of the child’s birth until the completion of six months.
The move strengthens the UAE’s position in the field of gender balance and enhances its efforts to create a competitive model that supports the work environment in the private sector and it is also aligned with the UAE strategy to prepare for the next 50 years.
Parental leave has been available as a legal right and/or governmental program for many years, in one form or another.
In 2014, the International Labour Organization reviewed parental leave policies in 185 countries and territories and found that all countries except Papua New Guinea have laws mandating some form of parental leave. A different study showed that of 186 countries examined, 96% offered some pay to mothers during leave, but only 44% of those countries offered the same for fathers.