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Equal pay for women and paid paternity leave in the UAE

Middle East Publication September 2020

The UAE Cabinet has recently issued Federal Decree By-Law No. 6 of 2020 (“the Decree”), in which two progressive and welcome amendments have been made to the UAE Labor Law (Federal Law No. 8 of 1980).  

Equal pay

Article 1 of the Decree repeals and replaces Article 32 of the Labor Law, and effectively bolsters the prohibition in the Labor Law against paying female employees less than their male counterparts for performing the same jobs. Article 32 of the Labor Law now provides that women “shall be granted a similar wage” to men if conducting the same work, or work of “equivalent value”. Article 1 of the Decree provides that the Cabinet “shall issue a [further] resolution … [setting out] the procedures, limitations and standards required for the evaluation of [what constitutes] work of equivalent value”. 

Paternity leave

Article 2 of the Decree adds a new article to the Labor Law (Article 74), which provides that male employees shall be granted paid parental leave for five working days, which can be taken within six months’ time of the newborn’s birthday. 

The Decree comes into effect on September 26, 2020.

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