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Can maternity leave be availed if contract in UAE isn't renewed?

maternity leave, uae law, labour law, contract, renewal, legal view

Women are entitled to 45 days of maternity leave and thereafter 100 days of consecutive or non-consecutive days of absence for illness due to pregnancy-related matters.



By Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 29 Sep 2019, 1:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 1 Oct 2019, 9:29 AM

Q1) My wife is employed on a two-year limited period of employment contract that will expire in February 2020. The employer of my wife intimated her that she is required to inform her employer pertaining to the renewal of the employment contract three months prior to the expiry of the agreement. Further, her employer has stated that in the event she does not intend to renew the employment contract, she has to serve notice period till the expiry of the agreement. My wife is due to deliver child in February 2020. Can she avail maternity leave or other paid leaves after informing her employer with respect to the non-renewal of her employment?
Answer
Pursuant to your query, we assume that your wife is employed by a company based in the mainland of UAE and therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. (8) of 1980 regulating employment relations in the UAE (the 'Employment Law') and Ministerial Decree No. 765 of 2015 on rules and conditions for the termination of employment relations (the 'Ministerial Decree No. 765 of 2015') shall be applicable. As per the provisions of the Ministerial Decree No. 765 of 2015, it may be noted that an employment relation between an employer and an employee is terminated if the term of an employment contract of a limited duration expires and it is not renewed. This is in accordance with Article 1 (I)(1) of the Ministerial Decree No. 765 of 2015 which states:
"An employment relation between employer and employee may be terminated as follows:
I - In the case of fixed-term contracts (approved by the Ministry for a term of no more than two years), an employment relation is terminated if this instance occurs:
1- The term of the contract expires and the contract is not renewed."
Based on the aforementioned provision of the ministerial decree, it may be noted that an employee may not be required to serve a notice as the employment contract of a limited duration is being terminated due to the expiry of the employment contract and not due to a termination at the behest of the employee. Therefore, your wife is not required to serve the notice period.
Further, based on the provisions of the Employment Law, it may be pertinent to note that your wife is entitled to 45 days of maternity leave and thereafter 100 days of consecutive or non-consecutive days of absence for illness due to pregnancy-related matters. This is in accordance with Article 30 of the Employment Law which states:
"The female employee shall be entitled to a maternity leave with full payment of the remuneration thereof, and such for a period of 45 days that include the pre and postnatal periods, provided that the continuous service period for the employer is at least of one year. The maternity leave will be granted with half remuneration should the employee not have completed the aforementioned period. Upon the end of the maternity leave, the employee may remain absent from work without pay for a period of 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days at most should such absence be caused by an illness hindering her from returning to work. Such illness shall be established by means of a medical certificate issued by the medical entity appointed by the competent health authority or ratified by such authority stating that such illness arises from the pregnancy or the delivery. The leave referred to in the preceding paragraphs shall not be deducted from other leaves."
Based on the aforementioned provision of the Employment Law and the Ministerial Decree, it may be noted that your wife may not be under an obligation to intimate her employer through a notice of three months' prior to the expiry of the employment contract regarding the non-renewal of the employment contract and therefore, there is no necessity to serve the notice period. She may avail her fully paid maternity leave for a duration of 45 days as her service to the employer is continuous and exceeds more than one year. The non-renewal letter to the employer may be addressed within a reasonable period of time. The term 'reasonable time' may be as agreed between your wife and her employer. However, your wife may write to her employer informing her decision not to renew the employment contract and a written application to maternity leave well in advance within reasonable time.
Know the law

A female employee shall be entitled to a maternity leave with full payment of the remuneration thereof, and such for a period of 45 days that include the pre and postnatal periods, provided that the continuous service period for the employer is at least of one year

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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