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Motherhood and the Remote Work Legislations

Motherhood and the Remote Work Legislations

 

The woman makes up half of the society, in fact she is half of the world and the raiser of the other half. With this prominent role in family and society alike, the need to benefit from her capabilities in the professional field has been highlighted, with her essential role in the family… and here lies the challenge.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, flexibility has merged to work environments in general, which momentously provided opportunities for remote work to maintain productivity despite all the difficulties.

In UAE, the remote work has been applied to all mothers working in federal government authorities, by introducing a “half-time remote work” system to assist working mothers who have children under the age of ten to carry out their duties in terms of observing the health and psychological growth of their children, and instilling the ethics, culture and traditions of the society in the generations that represent the future of this nation. Also, the remote work includes applying the “full remote work” system for a working mother who takes care of a family member classified as “special categories”. The UAE has a legislative, administrative, and technical structures that support the remote work system, in coordination with the status of employees and the visions and decisions of the officials in charge.

The UAE has demonstrated a superior ability to move the wheel of production and operate its institutions remotely, especially during Covid-19, thanks to the flexible legislative and administrative structures that have placed the state in the lead among the world’s most successful countries which implement such systems.

It is important to address the remote work legislations in the UAE applicable to the working women. This includes Cabinet Resolution No. 27 of 2020 regarding the Remote Work in Federal Government (“Resolution 27 of 2020”). Article 3 of Resolution 27 of 2020 mentioned the types of remote work, such as partial remote work: where it is possible for an employee, at the request of his employer, to divide his working time between the main workplace and the remote workplace in equal or different proportions, such as hours per day or days per week or month. Also, there is the fully remote work: such as jobs that can be performed completely remotely.

Further, Executive Council Resolution No. 36 of 2020 Concerning the Telework System for the Employees of the Government of Dubai (“Resolution No. 36 of 2020”), stipulated in Article 4 that, an employee may be assigned to perform his employment duties remotely under the Telework System according to any of the following schemes: 1.    full-time telework, in case of posts whose duties are capable of being performed outside of the workplace of the Department; and 2.   part-time telework, in case of posts whose duties are capable of being performed both within and outside of the workplace of the Department. In this case, working days may, at the discretion of the Department and as it deems fit in this regard, be divided evenly, or otherwise, between performing employment duties at the workplace of the Department and remotely.

Furthermore, labour legislations in the UAE have also given attention to pregnant working women, namely Article 30 of Labor Law No. 33 of 2021, which stipulates in the section of maternity leave that a female employee is entitled to maternity leave of (45) days fully paid and 15 days with half salary. The female employee may, after using her maternity leave, be absent from work without pay for a period not exceeding forty-five (45) consecutive or intermittent days, when needed.

It is also worth making a reference to the circular issued by the Federal Authority for Human Resources addressed to all ministries and federal bodies on regulating the work of a mother employee in the federal government who has children studying via the remote learning system. For the purposes of supporting a working mother in the federal government while her children getting their education via remote learning, the federal entity may allow the working mother to work remotely if she has a child in grade 6 or below, or a person of determination who suffers chronic diseases and needs her presence with him.

However, giving a permission to a mother employee to work remotely is subject to a set of controls, such as the position she occupies must match the conditions, controls and standards contained in the remote work system approved by Cabinet Resolution No. 27 of 2020, as amended; the issuing of a permission to the working mother should not affect the conduct of work in the relevant federal body; such a permission should be given based on the classes timetables of the school where the child learns; the flexibility mentioned in this circular is limited to the term of the remote learning only specified by the competent authorities in the state. Also, the employee who has a child of determination to whom remote learning will apply should submit a medical report to her employer proving that her child needs a companion, and that the mother employee must not be a medical or educational staff member.

It is important to note that the Dubai Foundation for Women issued a guide for women’s remote work in the government and private sectors. The guide addressed several aspects of women’s remote work, in terms of application, conditions, and mechanism, such as the provision of devices and systems that enable women to work remotely, attend meetings, and evaluate productivity.

The remote system may face some technical and interactive challenges, but its tangible benefits have led to its spread, including preserving the development of the next generation while continuously benefiting from women’s professional capabilities which have led to professional flourish. The remote work system has added flexibility to the institutional work system away from the restriction of attending to offices, while achieving the same productivity, even with some challenges that can be overcome by developing solutions and offering proposals.

 


 

The authors of this insight are Senior Associate, Aeeda Ibrahim and Trainee Lawyer Rehab Demardash.

For more information, please contact them at:

 

Aeeda Ibrahim
Senior Associate
aeeda@galadarilaw.com
Rehab Demardash 
Trainee Lawyer
rehab@galadarilaw.com