UAE New labour laws to boost gender equality

New rules to promote equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination in the workplace.

New rules have been introduced to the UAE labour laws to promote equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination in the workplace, according to a new decree by the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Shaikh Khalifa has decreed changes into the UAE labour laws to protect equal opportunities and access to the labour market.

Under the new rules, which will be enforced one month after publishing, an employer may not discriminate against an employee based on her pregnancy.

The employer shall not terminate the service of the working woman or give her notice thereof because of her pregnancy. In this case, the termination of service shall be considered arbitrary under article 122 of the Labour Law, according to article 30 repeated of the UAE Labour Law.

Women’s empowerment and gender equality is a key target in the UAE’s national strategy, aimed to be achieved by 2021.

Women represent more than 65 per cent of the Emirati workforce in the federal government.

Azza Sulaiman Bin Sulaiman, a former member of the Federal National Council from Dubai, said the UAE is a model for women’s empowerment and gender parity regionally and internationally.

Dr Mona Al Bahar, professor at the UAE University, said how women’s development and gender equality are only one of the UAE’s progressive policies, which promotes harmony and tolerance and makes the UAE a place of hope and opportunity for the rest of the region.

UN Convention

The UAE signed the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2004. The convention is described as an international bill of rights for women and recommends that member countries to establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure the enforcement of legislation requiring employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value.

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