A Media Group’s Increased Maternity Leave Could Be Paving The Way For A Permanent Change


Currently, under UAE law, private sector employees are given 45 calendar days of maternity leave and public sector employees get 60 days, with the exception of Sharjah that gives 60 days maternity leave to public and private sector employees. Plus, women are allowed to take another 100 days leave without pay. 

This could soon be changing for private firms with Dubai-based Omnicom Media Group MENA leading the way.

The company has doubled its maternity leave to 90 days

The company released a statement on the same saying the move is part of a “wider programme to support the return of new mothers to the workplace, which will also include flexible working hours and a mentorship and empowerment programme”.

So, it doesn’t just stop at an extended leave period, it goes beyond that.

The decision was taken after receiving feedback from staff on the company’s app called OMGene

Launched last July, the app updates employees with company happenings, allows them to complete HR processes and even share anonymous feedback or comments.

Many requests came in to extend the maternity leave therefore resulting in a policy review. For those who don’t known already, the company has featured in the Great Place To Work Institute’s list of the UAE’s best employers since 2012, ranking third since 2014. It clearly shows the company takes care of their employees very well.

This is what the CEO of Omnicom Media Group MENA, Elie Khouri, said:

“We firmly believe the secret to leading a happy life is by prioritising your family and harmony at home over everything else; work should always come second.” 

The last update on maternity laws in the UAE:

In August it was announced that a new committee is set to be established to review the UAE’s maternity law. This was under a directive issued by UAE Gender Balance Council.

Maternity leaves around the world vary…

Saudi Arabia grants 10 weeks leave, New Zealand allows 18 weeks, while UK and Norway are 39 and 49 weeks.

Other firms changing their maternity leave policies include:

Alghanim Industries, a Kuwaiti conglomerate, has doubled its maternity leave to 90 days with pay for its UAE employees and MENA Properties is said to be increasing theirs to 60 days. MediaCom is offering new mothers leave on full pay for the first 10 weeks, half pay for the next six weeks followed by eight weeks of unpaid maternity leave. It has also introduced seven days paid paternity leave. Not a bad start!


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