What the UAE Labour Law Says About the Employment of Women | ExpatWoman.com

What the UAE Labour Law Says About the Employment of Women

Find out what the UAE's Labour Law states about the employment of women and your rights in the country

Posted on

11 June 2017

Last updated on 11 June 2017
What the UAE Labour Law Says About the Employment of Women

You may not have known this, but the UAE is ranked as a leader in gender quality in the workplace in the region. 

On a regular basis, the country aims to provide the support and opportunities to its female workforce through a number of public and private sector initiatives, as women are playing an increasingly stronger role in business, military and government sectors in the country. 

There's no doubt that the UAE and Abu Dhabi provide plenty of opportunities for women seeking work here. But of course, as with anything when moving here, you as a woman should be aware of your rights while working here. 

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The UAE's Labour Law outlines your rights quite clearly, as there is a whole section dedicated to the employment of women. 

And so to help ensure you fully understand the laws surrounding you working here, here's what the UAE Labour Law states...

1. No woman should work at night

Unless you're in a particular industry, you should not be required to work at night. As per the law, this period is from 10pm to 7am.

However, this prohibition of night work does not apply if any one of the following applies:

  • If your firm's work is disrupteed by a force majeure (meaning, greater force)
  • You are in an executive managerial role, or technical staff
  • You work in such health services and other business that is specified in a resolution by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, if you are not normally engaged in manual work

2. You should not be employed in a role that is hazardous

No woman is allowed to be employed in a job that is hazardous, arduous or physically or morally detrimental, or on any other work that is specified by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. 

Employment of Women and UAE Labour Law

3. Your maternity leave entitlement

Currently, women who work in the public sector are granted a three-month maternity leave, as well as the ability to leave two horus early on for one year from the day of giving birth. 

No such changes have been applied for women working in the public sector so the existing UAE Labour Law applies; working women are entitled to 45 days maternity leave with full pay, if they have been employed for more than one year. Women who have not completed one year is entitled to the same maternity leave, but with half pay only. 

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If you have exceeded your maternity leave, you may be absent from work without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days if such absence is due to an illness that prevents you from resuming work. If in case of the latter, a medical certificate should be issued that confirms the illness is a result of pregnancy or delivery. 

4. If you are nursing your child

During the 18 months following your delivery, and if you#re nursing your child, you are entitled to two additional breaks each day. Neither should exceed half an hour. These two additional breaks should be considered as part of your working hours, and you should not have a reduction in salary. 

5. Same pay as a male colleague

If you are in the same position as a male colleague, your salaries must be equal.