UAE employees will have 98 days paid maternity leaves at Atkins

Atkins and Faithful+Gould, its subsidiary company, will now offer 98 days of paid maternity leaves to employees in the United Arab Emirates instead of 45 days offered earlier.

The company said that it was already complying with the labour laws in each Gulf Cooperation Council country. The law in USE mandates 45 days of paid maternity leaves but the company is extending its rules to offer 98 days of paid leaves. Under the new rules, the female employees will also be allowed to take paid 'Keeping in Touch' days to remain in contact with their teams.

The company said in a statement that, "Previously, our standards were in accordance to the labour laws in each Gulf Cooperation Council country, which in the UAE is 45 calendar days. Optional unpaid leave thereafter was up to 100 days. Now we're going above and beyond the Labour Law to offer 14 weeks and up to 6 months unpaid leave thereafter."

The new policy changes for more maternity leaves are headed by the Middle East Women's Business Network (WBN). The WBN, which is established by the two companies, is working to develop a corporate environment that will better allow women in the region to attain success in the business.

Simon Moon, chief executive officer for Atkins Middle East said that the company is working to create a diverse working environment with no constraints for talented employees to succeed. Kathleen McGrail, programme director for Atkins Acuity and chairperson of the WBN, described the rule change as a major milestone for the business and pointed out that it will make a difference to the lives of female employees.