Free zone women employees entitled to maternity leave

Female worker to entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days

I am a woman living in Dubai, working in a free zone company for one year. Currently I am seven months pregnant and I have some questions in this regard. Am I entitled to maternity leave even though I am under a free zone visa, not the Ministry of Labour? As per my company, Ministry of Labour rules and labour law are not applicable for an employee working under a free zone visa. In my internal labour contract, it is mentioned that I am not entitled to maternity leave. Currently my company is offering me unpaid leave from my annual leave. What are my rights as per the UAE labour law? In case I cannot reach an amicable settlement with my company, do I have the right to go to the labour court? Do I need to take a No Objection Letter from the free zone authority in order to go to the labour court?

-According to Article 30 of Federal Law No 8 of 1980, a female worker shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days, including the period preceding and the period following her confinement, on condition that she has been in her employer’s service for a continuous period of not less than one year. If she has not completed the previously mentioned period of service, she shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay.

On the expiry of her maternity leave, a female worker may be absent from her work without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or nonconsecutive days if such absence is due to an illness preventing her from resuming her work and if the illness is confirmed by a medical certificate issued by the medical service specified by the competent health authority or if the latter authority confirms that the illness was caused by the woman’s work or confinement.

The leave mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs shall not be deducted from other periods of leave.

Therefore, as per the UAE labour law, a woman employee is entitled for maternity leave even if she works under a free zone company.

Finally, the questioner is advised, in case no amicable settlement is reached with the employer, to file a labour complaint about the free zone authority and in case of no amicable settlement with the free zone authority, the questioner has the right to request the free zone authority to provide her with a transfer letter to the labour court in order to file a labour case.

Dismissal during probation

I have been working in a company in Dubai for five months. I am supposed to finish my probation period in November 2018 but my employer terminated my service for no reason. I did not receive any notice saying that my performance was not good. My question is: As per the UAE labour law, do I have the right to file a labour case and ask for compensation for unfair termination?

-Article 37 of the UAE labour law states: “A worker may be engaged on probation for a period not exceeding six months, during which his services may be terminated by the employer without notice or severance pay; provided that a worker shall not be engaged on probation more than once in the service of any one employer. Where a worker successfully completes his period of probation and remains in his job, the said period shall be reckoned towards his period of service.” Therefore, as per the above-mentioned article, the employer has the right to terminate the employee without reason and without notice and the employee has no right to claim for compensation as long as he did not finish the probation period.

Questions answered advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.


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