UAE firm offers a year off as maternity leave; new dads to get 42 days

The new policy is offered to mothers who have completed at least one year of continuous service with the company


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 23 May 2024, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 May 2024, 6:37 PM

Global legal firm Baker McKenzie on Thursday announced that it has revised its maternity and paternity leave for its employees, offering extended leave to mothers and fathers.

The company said it would provide mothers up to 52 weeks’ (364 days) leave and 26 weeks' (182 days) of which is fully paid. Similarly, fathers are also eligible for an enhanced paternity leave of up to six weeks (42 days) at full pay. There are also additional parental leave-related benefits.

The new policy is offered to mothers who have completed at least one year of continuous service with the legal firm.

The UAE companies are increasingly becoming flexible in terms of providing flexible work hours and longer maternity and paternity leave in order to attract and retain the best talent. Earlier this year, retail and design firm Alpha Nero announced a new 70-day paid maternity leave policy for its employees.

Dubai-based Galadari also provides three months of maternity leave after one year of employment. On resuming work after three months, female employees have the option of availing remote work can do so for 28 calendar days, which can be taken consecutively or intermittently anytime within six months. If the job profile does not allow for remote work, female employees need to work only half their daily working hours for the first 24 working days from the day they resume work.

In the UAE, the mandatory maternity leave is 45 calendar days, with employees of the federal government getting 60 days off from work. New mothers also get two 30-minute breaks for breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old.

"Extended parent leave policy reflects our commitment to creating a workplace that prioritizes the well-being of our employees and champions gender diversity. By increasing maternity and paternity leave we aim to provide essential support to our employees during this significant life event,” said Borys Dackiw, managing partner of Baker McKenzie in the UAE.

"This progressive approach to parent leave aligns with our broader commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. By providing comprehensive support to new parents, we aim to create an environment that enables everyone to thrive both professionally and personally,” said Keri Watkins, co-chair of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee at Baker McKenzie in the UAE.

This new policy came into effect on January 1, 2024.


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