Keren Bobker answers a reader's question regarding maternity leaves.
Mothers-to-be get full maternity leave a year into the job
I have been working for this company for 11 months and am now six months pregnant. I have heard that maternity leave is available to me, but no one at this place has taken it before and my boss has suggested that it is effectively a replacement for annual leave. I don’t want to be difficult as I plan to return to work, but naturally I want to take off all the time that is allowed by law. PG, Abu Dhabi
Article 30 of UAE Labour Law states that “A working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days including the time before and after delivery, provided that her continuous period of service with the employer should not be less than a year”. As you will have been employed for a full year before you take maternity leave you have the full entitlement, but for a woman employed for less than a year the entitlement is halved. This is entirely separate from annual leave and any leave accrued may be taken in addition. Furthermore the same article states that if a woman is medically unfit to return to work at the end of the standard period of maternity leave, provided this ill health is related to pregnancy or delivery, she can take up to 100 days extra leave, but must submit an appropriate medical certificate.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Contact her at email@example.com