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UAE Paternity Leave Policies :  Leave Law for Fathers in UAE 2023


Shini Ramith

November 17, 2023 · 6 min read
UAE Paternity Leave Policies :  Leave Law for Fathers in UAE 2023 - TalentPoint

Celebrating Paternity: The Evolution of Leave Policies for Fathers in the UAE

Parenthood is a pivotal aspect of life, filled with unforgettable moments. Recognizing the importance of these moments, the UAE government has amended laws related to parental leave for male employees in the private sector. This blog covers everything you need to know about parental leave rules and laws in the UAE, particularly focusing on paternity leave.

In our blog, we're delving into a game-changing topic that's shaping workplaces in the UAE: paternity leave. It's not just about time off for new dads; it's a big step towards recognizing the essential role fathers play in those precious early moments of their child's life. This policy shift in the UAE is all about creating a more supportive and family-friendly work culture. Let's dive in to understand what this means for dads, families, and the evolving nature of work-life balance.

What is Paternity Leave and Its Significance

Paternity leave refers to the time off from work granted to fathers following the birth or adoption of a child. It acknowledges the crucial role of fathers in the early stages of parenting, providing them with an opportunity to actively participate in caregiving and bonding with their newborns. This leave period is not merely about taking time away from the workplace; it symbolizes the encouragement of a more balanced approach to parenting responsibilities.

The significance of paternity leave extends far beyond the duration of absence from work. It emphasizes the importance of a father's presence during the initial stages of a child's life, contributing significantly to the child's emotional development and fostering stronger familial bonds. By allowing fathers the chance to be more involved, it creates a supportive environment that values their contributions to caregiving, nurturing, and building connections with their children.

Paternity leave also plays a vital role in promoting gender equality in parental responsibilities. It breaks away from traditional norms, empowering fathers to share the caregiving load more equitably with their partners. This shift not only benefits families by fostering deeper connections between fathers and children but also contributes to a more inclusive and supportive work culture that values both work commitments and family life.

New Law on Paternity Leave in UAE

In 2020, an amendment to the UAE Labour Law by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, marked a significant change. This made the UAE the first Middle Eastern country to introduce paternity leave for private sector employees, aligning with the UAE's 2021 Agenda for gender equality.

The law ensures that both parents have the opportunity to provide love and care to their newborns, reinforcing family values.

Understanding Paternity Leave in the UAE Private & Public Sector

Paternity Leave in UAE for Private Sector

In the UAE's private sector, the provisions related to parental leave center on the Federal Decree Law No. 49 of 2022 on Human Resources Law in the Federal Government. While this law predominantly addresses maternity leave for female employees, stipulating a generous provision of three months' maternity leave with full salary, it also encompasses paternal leave.

As delineated in Article 20 of the same law, male employees within the federal sector are entitled to five working days of paternity leave from the day of their child's birth, extendable up to six months. This provision allows flexibility in taking this leave continuously or intermittently, within the first six months following their child's birth.

The intricacies of parental leave in the private sector, particularly regarding paternal leave, are rooted in ensuring an equitable balance between work responsibilities and the crucial early stages of fatherhood. These provisions signify a growing recognition of the significant role played by fathers in the initial phases of their child's life and aim to support their active involvement in nurturing their newborns.

Paternity Leave in the UAE Public Sector

For male employees working within the Federal Government in the UAE's public sector, the entitlement stands at three days of fully paid paternity leave. However, recent amendments and their applicability to government employees await further clarification. This pending clarification seeks to bring a clear understanding and uniformity in paternity leave entitlements across both public and private sectors in the UAE.

The evolving landscape of paternity leave in the UAE remains subject to ongoing refinements and interpretations. Clarity on these regulations will not only address public sector concerns but also provide a comprehensive understanding for employees in both sectors regarding their entitlements to paternity leave in the UAE.

Benefits of Paternity Leave in UAE

Fathers in the UAE receive full pay during their paternity leave days, and employers should not make any deductions from their salary during this time. This policy remains unchanged even in the case of multiple births.

UAE Paternity Leave: Best Practices

Employers can enhance the paternity leave experience by:

  • Extending Paternity Leave Period:

    • Consider extending the paternity leave period upon employee request, fostering work-life balance and boosting satisfaction.

  • Clear Communication:

    • Clearly communicate paternity leave policies in advance, ensuring employees are aware of their entitlements.

  • Offering Additional Support:

    • Provide additional support, such as work-from-home options or necessary resources for male employees on paternity leave.

  • Compliance with Laws:

    • Ensure compliance with the UAE Labour Law regarding paternity leave.

Applying for Paternity Leave in UAE: Step-by-Step Guide

Male employees can apply for paternity leave in UAE by following these steps:

  • Create a Leave Plan:

    • Develop a leave plan for the individual covering for the employee during paternity leave.

  • Inform Colleagues:

    • Inform colleagues about the impending leave to ensure smooth workflow awareness.

  • Return Planning:

    • Plan for a seamless return after the leave period.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Question : How many days is the paternity leave in UAE?

Answer : Paternity leaves are provided for a period of five days after the child's birth.

  • Question : How can I get paternity leave in UAE?

           Answer : Male employees can apply for paternity leave two or three days before the expected date of childbirth.

  • Question :  For how many days maternity leave is provided to employees?

Answer : Female employees receive fully paid maternity leave for 45 days if they have served at least one year with the organization.

  • Question :  Is paternity leave and parental leave the same?

Answer :  No, paternity leave is specifically for fathers, whereas parental leave typically encompasses both mothers and fathers.

Understanding and implementing these paternity leave policies contribute to creating a supportive and family-friendly work environment in the UAE. Stay compliant with the UAE Labour Law and provide a positive experience for employees during this significant life event.

Wrapping Up

In summary, paternity leave marks a significant step forward in recognizing the pivotal role of fathers in the UAE. This progressive policy not only supports a more inclusive work environment but also fosters a balanced approach to family life. As paternity leave continues to evolve, it signifies a profound commitment to shared parental responsibilities and a more supportive workplace culture in the UAE.

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