Being pregnant can be a beautiful time in a women’s life, but many times the true joy comes when she gets to hold her child and spend time with the newborn. Employed women from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will finally get to enjoy that same experience for an extended period of time following the creation of a new law Wednesday that allows them to take a three-month paid maternity leave. Working women in the U.S., however, are not as fortunate.
President His Highness Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the new law in UAE's capital city of Abu Dhabi that not only gives working women three months paid maternity leave but also gives women the right to leave from work two hours early for a full year following the birth of their baby. Male government staff members were given a three-day paternity leave.
UAE, a majority Muslim country, is considered very conservative compared to the U.S. But it is quite liberal compared to most countries in the region, the BBC reported.
In the U.S. policies are different when it comes to maternity leave. There is not a national paid leave policy in place. In fact, only Rhode Island, Washington, California and New Jersey have state-mandated paid leaves set up.
Rhode Island offers women 60 percent of their weekly wages and up to four weeks paid leave per year, NOLO reported.
Washington allows employees up to five weeks off and $250 per week to those who work at least 35 hours a week. Those who work less than 35 hours receive a prorated amount.
Women in California get 55 percent of their paycheck, which can range from $50 to more than $900 a week. In a 12 month period, the employee can receive up to six weeks paid leave. However, the employee will not start receiving compensation until they have been out of the office for a full week.
New Jersey employees receive up to six weeks of paid leave in which they have the option to take off a day or two at a time rather than all at once. The employee is then compensated with two-thirds of their paycheck up to $572 a week.
New York is expected to become a part of the states that offer paid leave in January 2018.