Abu Dhabi to issue special labels to parent-friendly offices

Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi Filed on May 30, 2021
Photo: Alamy

Such workplaces can contribute to reducing parental stress and parent absenteeism in their children’s lives.

A new initiative launched in Abu Dhabi will promote a parent-friendly workplace culture in the UAE Capital.

The Parent-Friendly Label (PFL) will be awarded to employers who adopt relevant policies and practices.


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Launched by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), firms can apply to one of the label’s two levels: First and advanced.

Firms must have a valid trade licence issued in Abu Dhabi or a freezone in the Emirate.

Firms can apply for the label online from May 30 to September 23.

Recipients of the PFL label are entitled to benefits, including membership of an exclusive community of like-minded organisations — as well as public recognition of their status as a parent-friendly employer.

All applicants will be assessed against 19 criteria spanning five categories by an independent third party as well as a judging panel made of senior members from leading public institutions. Eight of these criteria are mandatory and 11 are optional.

These categories include parental leave, flexible work, family care, family wellbeing and culture. Organisations will also be invited to share the creative and non-traditional approaches they have applied to better support parents through innovative workplace policies and practices.

In 2020, 10 semi-government, private sector and third-sector organisations were recognised for introducing a variety of parent-friendly practices and policies such as parental leave that goes beyond the mandated requirement, flexible working arrangements, and nursing rooms.

They were also recognised for adopting an internal culture that encourages a better work-life balance for parents. Earlier this year, these organisations collaborated with ECA to develop the PFL’s criteria.

The launch came as Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of the ECA, met the authority’s leadership.

Sheikh Theyab stressed the active role that the private sector, semi-government and third-sector organisations can play in supporting children’s holistic development. These include adopting parent-friendly policies and ways of working, and supporting working parents as they care for their children, especially during their early childhood.


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“The PFL helps support the ambitious vision of the UAE’s future over the next fifty years, creating enabled generations to face challenges and shape the future, and pushing forward the UAE’s journey of development and prosperity launched by the founding fathers,” Sheikh Theyab noted.

Sheikh Theyab highlighted the PFL’s importance, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“By creating parent-friendly workplaces that understand children’s needs, the PFL will provide children with adequate support within their families, to ensure their healthy development and early learning. This, in turn, would increase Abu Dhabi’s workplace attractiveness, retention and productivity,” Sheikh Theyab added.

Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director-General of the ECA, said parent-friendly workplaces can contribute to reducing parental stress and parent absenteeism in their children’s lives. It increases chances of women realising their full potential, while contributing both at home and to the economy.

“Parent-friendly workplaces also encourage fathers to be more involved in the early years, supporting children to have better developmental outcomes, potentially leading to less behavioural problems and improved cognitive and mental health.”

Staff Reporter

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