Maternity Leave for Expatriate Employees in Dubai – How Things Work

The number of expatriate women working in Dubai is increasing due to the development of the tourist industry, in which female workers can find more employment opportunities. As a female employee, you should be aware of your rights regarding maternity leave. The labor law in UAE covers all important aspects regarding this period in your life. It is important to know what your rights are in case any disputes with your employer arise.

All employed women in Dubai are entitled to a maternity leave of 45 days. This period has been extended to 3 months in a separate clause in the acting civil service law, but this amendment is applicable to UAE nationals only. Hence, expatriate employees cannot benefit from it. You will be able to stay at home for 45 days on full pay, if you have been working for at least one year. Otherwise, you will still be able not to work for the same time, but you will receive only half of your remuneration due for this period.

You are also entitled to 100 days of maternity leave, after the initial period of 45 days is over, provided that you have a valid reason for taking it. These reasons usually include breastfeeding, special care necessary during sickness of the child or sickness of the mother. You might need to provide medical documents to validate taking days off work. Mothers are not entitled to receive payment during this leave. It is up to you to decide how you will use this time. You can take 100 consecutive days off work or you can take them in periods or only when you have an emergency.

You have the right to take 2 half hour breaks from work every day until your child is one and a half years old. These breaks are paid. You do not need to present any special documents in order to take advantage of this option. Still, you should discuss the situation with your manager and let them know how you plan to arrange these laves.

You are entitled to all these benefits as a mother. Your employer should have no objection to any of the forms of maternity leave that you are eligible for. In fact, you might try to negotiate a longer period of leave, if the company or the person you are working for is ready to provide it. It is worth asking, at least. If you manage to negotiate a longer leave, you need to make sure that this is documented, so that you are not unpleasantly surprised afterwards.

In case your employer tries to evade the law in any way, you should not hesitate to defend your rights. It is best to try to settle things amicably first. If this does not work, you can consider consulting a lawyer and filing a complaint in the Ministry of Labor. You might also want to contact your embassy for advice. They might give you advice and support, but it is common practice for them not to interfere in labor disputes.


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  1. It would be so much better if more clarity wrt maternity leave would have been given by DUBAI govt and also rule for all the working females who are becoming mothers should be same as no religion says you should spent less time with your baby if you are expatriate. All are human beings and as per labour law all should be treated in similar way. Being an expatriate at least we expect this much of consideration from Respected authorities.

  2. Hi,

    I am working in a big autmobile company who has branches in UAE. I am still doing breastfeeding to my 4months baby boy. I live in Al Qusais and our company has a branch in rashdiya. I used to work in Rashidiya branch dated 2010. Now, I filed a request to my manager that I will be assigned in Rashidiya due to proximity. Currently, I am working Al Quoz 3. I requested to them as a newly parentbut they turn me down. Do you think I can raise this complaint to Ministry of labor? Really, it’s very difficult to travel from Al qusais to Al Quoz and vice versa.

    Seeking your advice.

    Thank you.

    Ms. Baguio

  3. Hi

    I would like to know does 45 days maternity leave include the weekend or exclude the weekend in Dubai

  4. hi,

    my wife has taken maternity leave of 45 days during her pregnancy, i just wanted to knw whether this 45 day is included in the annual leave or it is exclusive.

  5. Hi, I would like to know what is the case when one year of employment has not been completed. Is the payment half of the basic pay or half of the monthly salary itself.

  6. I am working in retails sales I’ve joined the company that I’ve been pregnant for 15 weeks can I get half pay for my maternity leave? As per our company policy atleast one year of service to avail the pay maternity leave.

    Seeking for helpful advice.

    Thank you

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