UAE’s 45-day maternity leave lowest in the world

Well below the global average of 14 weeks stipulated in the ILO Convention

Maternity leave in the UAE is the lowest in the world and less than half of global standard set by International Labour Organisation, according to United Nations statistics.

Currently, the duration of maternity leave in the UAE is only 45 days while international standard in the Maternity Protection Convention 2000 of International Labour Organisation is 14 weeks, said the UN report.

Most of the neighbouring Gulf countries also don’t match the global average for maternity leave. Bahrain and Qatar laws allow only 45 and 50 days leave, respectively, while Saudi women can be granted 10-week leave.

Sweden offers the longest maternity leave of 480 days; Albania, Croatia, Serbia and United Kingdom provide one-year leave.

UN said only half – specifically 85 - of the countries worldwide meet the new international standard for minimum duration of maternity leave and two out of five meet the minimum standard for cash benefits.

The report also revealed that the UAE fertility rate has more than halved during the past 30 years to the lowest level in the Gulf region.


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