Major steps have been taken the UAE government towards gender equality by introducing following amendments outlined by Labor Lawyers of Dubai in this article. Federal Decree Law No. 6 of 2020 introduces a new Article 74 to the Labor Law to provide for five days paid working days of parental leave and amendment to Article 32 of the UAE Labour Law, which contains equal-pay provisions for female employees.
Things you need to know about the paternity leave provision
UAE added this article to labour law to men get their fair share of amenities, because women already have maternity leave. It was to introduce the concept in private sector, because most private companies do not have a paternity leave provisions, except the ones with a global reach. The amendment will apply to all employees in the private sector both onshore and in all Free Zones it governs outside of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zones. According to the UAE laws women get a paid 45 days leave after the birth of their child after the completion of one year of service at their place of employment and women within the first year of their employment get half the pay when on maternity leave. But now even fathers will get five days of paid leave within six months of their child’s birth, to be with it. After this breakthrough UAE and Saudi Arabia are the only GCC countries to provide paternity leave to private sector employees and at that too UAE has the most generous policy.
Ending gender pay disparity with equal pay
The amendment to Article 32 has replaced equal pay for women with ‘equal pay for women with equal value of work’, making the provision way more progressive and a step closer to achieving gender equality. The amendment if backed by an intricate job evaluation procedure surveilled by the MOHRE (Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization), such as those that exist in other jurisdictions, could pave the way for complaints to be brought where sections of the workforce are underpaid purely by discrimination in regards with gender. The earlier provision made it easier to disguise pay parity by assigning different names or titles to employees of same grade. This change provides a more air tight mechanism and leaves less scope for such loop holes.
This is welcome news for all working parents and female employees in the UAE and it has indeed transformed its perception to a modern, forward looking country with emphasis on equality in the place of employment. This makes UAE investment and employee friendly as every individual of the society yearns for equal status, opportunity, and rights, and UAE’s labour laws are really promising in this regard. The recent amendment is a welcoming change in the country and will allow multiple business and expatriates to reach out to Dubai or UAE for investments or employment.