The president of the UAE recently approved Decree Law No.6 2020 (the Decree) granting private sector employees five working days of employer-paid new parental leave.

The Decree was issued on 25 August 2020 and should enter into effect one month after its publication in the UAE Official Gazette.

Key details

The Decree amends the Federal Labor Law and aims to encourage young talent to work in the private sector by strengthening gender balance in the UAE.

Previously, there was no requirement for employers to provide parental leave to male private sector employees, although employers could include paternity leave in their internal company policy at their discretion.

The new leave applies to both male and female private sector employees in the UAE, excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre and Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zones. The five-day parental leave may be taken within six months after the birth of the child. Both parents will be entitled to apply to the new leave benefit and no minimum service is required. There is no additional leave entitlement for multiple births.

Female employees working in the private sector will now be entitled to five working days of parental leave in addition to their maternity leave of 45 calendar days. Female employees will be able to take their parental leave as part of their maternity leave or at any time within the six months after the birth of the child.