Employees of companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are now entitled to five days of paid parental leave during the first six months following their baby’s birth — under changes to the labor law approved by the President in August 2020. Both parents can apply for the leave entitlement. The law is applicable to private sector employers that follow the federal labour law, but does not apply to employees in the Dubai International Financial Centre or the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zones.
According to the official UAE news agency WAM, paid leave entitlement “aims to further cement family cohesion and stability, enhance UAE’s position and competitiveness in the field of gender balance, and encourage young talents to work in the private sector.” The UAE is the first Arab country to grant parental leave to employees in the private sector, but mothers were already entitled to paid maternity leave.
- Announcement on parental leave (Official Portal of the United Arab Emirates, 31 Aug 2020)