Dubai government employees will soon be able to get three months paid maternity leave.
The extension is part of a new maternity leave policy announced on Wednesday by Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The new policy, effective from March 1, 2017, will also allow female employees to add up to 120 days of annual leave and unpaid leave to the maternity leave.
The breast-feeding period has been increased to two hours from one hour (once the employee is back from maternity leave) and can be taken for a period of one year from the baby’s birth. It can be taken either at the beginning or towards the end of working hours, and will be fully paid. This will be reduced to one hour during Ramadan.
The policy also includes a new clause under which women who have abortions and miscarriages will be eligible for sick leave upon the presentation of a note from an authorised doctor.
A special care leave also grants additional time-off to a female employee who has delivered a baby with special needs with a salary that specified by the official medical commission, depending on the case.
The policy covers all governmental entities that are subject to the Dubai Government Human Resources Law, the Dubai Media Office reported.
“The new policy will help employees have closer family bonds, and enhance their sense of family stability,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
“In this amendment of the maternity leave, we focused on the comfort of working mothers and the need for legislation that meets their need for family-work balance. We have also taken into consideration the need to provide working mothers enough time to take care of their new born babies. 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,” he said.
The move comes after it was announced in November that the UAE has extended paid maternity leave to three months for all federal government employees.
Under an amendment made to law 11 of 2008, female employees of the federal government will also be granted a daily two-hour break for four months from the delivery date to breastfeed their babies, it was announced at the time.
Read more: UAE government extends maternity leave
The Abu Dhabi government also introduced new regulations for government workers in September that entitles prospective mothers to three months of maternity leave and the right to leave work two hours early to care for their children one year from the delivery date.
Under the ruling, prospective fathers in the UAE capital will also be granted three days of paternity leave when their child is born.
The UAE set up a committee in August to review the country’s maternity law, under a directive issued by the country’s UAE Gender Balance Council.
The aim is to provide women with a “supportive work environment” and to activate the ‘gender balance index’ across various sectors.
Under existing UAE law, public sector workers receive 60 calendar days of maternity leave while private companies are obliged to provide employees with 45 calendar days.