UAE maternity leave needs addressing
Compared to other countries, it is paltry. The UAE law on maternity leave needs addressing, thinks Sam Potter, and not just to boost the Emirati population.
July 29, 2010 2:26 by kippreport
Which means that, as well as being bad for the women, the law is not very helpful to businesses. When an employee leaves to give birth, and insists she will return, a company has no choice but to maintain her salary while at the same time (most likely) managing without her. It is probably only at the end of her maternity leave, after she has secured her wages, that they find she is not coming back. Then, and only then, does the company start a possibly lengthy, possibly costly search for a replacement. If a woman was given more flexible options and more time, isn’t it more likely she will return to work, thus saving the company this ordeal?
Let’s look for a second at the other side of the coin. What if a mother does go back to work after 45 days? Is this better for the business? Possibly. Is it better for the child, now in the care of someone other than its mother? Almost certainly not. Is it better for the mother, forced away from her child after only six weeks? Again, almost certainly not.
Over the longer term, these unfair laws could reduce female participation in the workforce, which would be a tragedy. It could significantly cut down not only the general people-power in industry but could also deny it the skills that so many of these female employees have to offer.
I understand the UAE government has a natural inclination towards business interests, and it believes that the current law reduces the burden of maternity on companies. But pursuing the business interest at the cost of society’s interest, especially when the benefits to companies are debatable, is bad for everyone.
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