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Women’s Maternity Leave according to the Law

By Hana Al Khatib
pregnant (1)The high cost of living is forcing women to leave their houses and earn bread together with the men to give support to their families and raise the standard of living.  Indeed, our Arab society has changed dramatically; women’s education became more accepted. Women are being obliged to enroll in schools, and parents are becoming more firm when it comes to their daughter’s education.

What I have noticed recently that many women are living abroad to obtain high degrees such as Master and PHD, which wasn’t socially accepted decades ago. This makes us realize how the society has changed in a positive way and how people became more open in accepting women in society whether in school or in the workforce. In fact, what I have realized myself in school that the top ranked students were all women, whether in high school, college or in my higher education. In addition, when it comes to jobs, women are being selected in jobs faster than men. Such things makes me very proud and makes me as a woman determined to achieve more, and gives me the enthusiasm to encourage other women to build a career path.

Accordingly, and since women currently are holding high degrees and are fully educated, they become able to have their input to support the family financially. However, in addition to the job, a woman has a lot more to take care of. Between the stress of work and children, a working woman is required to look after her house and meet her home needs. Most women I know nowadays are juggling working outside their house 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, and at the same time are working inside their house continuously as a housewife until the last person in the family is asleep. I raise my chapeau for those brave strong women who are very successful in their career and with their families.

However, most working women are, unfortunately, not aware of their rights at work. So I decided that, since we are all extremely busy women, to share some of my knowledge as a lawyer to women around the Arab world and raise their awareness regarding the rights as a working woman, and as a housewife and all women in general.

An important note to always remember, know your rights, understand them so you can invoke them and win.

In this article I will be addressing women who works in private sector to their rights at work. Let’s first of all explain that if you work in a private sector then you are subject to labor law. Labor law is the regulator of the relationship between the employee and the employer in the private sector. The UAE labor law and the Jordanian labor law, both highlight the female employee’s rights in a specific chapter and tackles several matters.

As a human nature every woman plans to get pregnant and create a family, whether she is a working or non-working woman, therefore, the law regulated the rights of a pregnant woman in the chapter of “Employment of Women” in both the UAE and the Jordanian labor law. One of those rights granted by labor law to employed women, is the right to a maternity leave.

A pregnant woman under article 30 of the UAE Federal Labor Law No. (8) of the year 1980 shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of forty five days, including pre and post natal periods, provided that she has completed not less than one year of continuous service with the employer. However, a female laborer who has not completed the aforesaid period of service shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay. Such leave period shall not be in any way calculated from other leave periods such as your annual leave.

Under article 70 of the Jordanian Labor Law No. (8) of the year 1996 a working woman shall have the right to obtain a maternity leave totaling ten weeks with full pay prior to and after delivery provided that the period subsequent to delivery may not be less than six weeks. It shall be prohibited by law to put the woman to work prior to the expiry of such period.

Each working woman shall note that any condition in the employment contract or the bylaws of the company or the employees handbook is contrary to such provisions or waive any of the rights stipulated in the labor law shall be considered as null and void unless such conditions were more advantageous to the employee.

Remember whatever your position is, you are entitled to a paid maternity leave to look after your newly born child, and your health. Whatever the reason was, make sure not to abandon such a right, because you deserve it.”

About the Author Qualified lawyer in the Jordanian jurisdiction, and a legal consultant in Abu Dhabi UAE at Global Advocates & Legal Consultants.
– Holding LL.M degree in European Law and International Trade law from the University of Saarland in Germany. Additionally Hana holds a bachelor degree in law from Yarmouk University.
– Experienced in employment law, civil law, commercial law, litigation, arbitration and companies law.


For this article in Arabic click here:
:للغة العربية اضغط هناإجازة-الأمومة-حسب-القانون/


Photo credit: vane_bust / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA Photo credit: toridawnrector / Foter / CC BY-SA

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