Consumer goods major Procter & Gamble (P&G) Middle East has introduced eight weeks of fully-paid paternity leave and 14 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave for its employees in the UAE and the region.
The new policy will allow new parents to spend time with their newborns, resulting in positive long-term outcomes not only for their personal families but also for the entire community.
This is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the region as part of the company's global paid parental leave framework to support both parents.
According to UAE law, a working woman is entitled to a maternity leave of 45 days, including the time before and after delivery. If the woman has completed one year of continuous employment for the same employer, she is entitled to full pay during maternity leave; otherwise, she is entitled to half pay.
“When all parents have access to paid leave, it’s healthy for children and builds equality in the workplace. We believe that paternity leave will positively disrupt gender equality… When a spouse or partner takes parental leave, there is a positive short-term impact on a woman’s physical and psychological well-being, and a longer-term impact on her participation in the workforce,” says Omar Channawi, CEO, P&G Middle East, East and West Africa and General Export Markets.
This global parental leave policy titled “Share the Care” was launched by P&G worldwide in January this year.
“Ever since we launched this breakthrough parental leave policy for our employees, over 90 per cent of to-be-fathers and new fathers in P&G UAE have availed of the policy or plan to avail of it within the year of their child's birth,” said Channawi.
While commenting on giving an additional six weeks of maternity leave, he said birth mothers also need more time to recuperate after childbirth, receive more emotional support, and experience less stress. “A parental leave policy like this supports a birth mother’s success in the workforce.”
P&G UAE has currently implemented a hybrid work model at the company for the safety for its people and customers.
“We have shifted our mindset that work can only be done from one place and have moved from ‘where’ to ‘how’ we work. Our model empowers the business and employees to choose their ‘workspace’ with intentionality and focus on driving productivity. Our offices are open and safe for those that want to come into the office to work, whilst at the same time we support those that prefer to work from home,” said Omar Channawi.
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