Ministry drafting a paternity leave law

More than 36 initiatives launched under National Family Policy

Dubai: A newly launched National Family Policy in the UAE is working on drafting a paternity leave legislation that ensures equalising the role fathers play in parenting, the Minister of Community Development announced on Sunday.
Work on new childcare legislations is also underway as part of the National Family Policy launched last week, which will also see more than 36 new initiatives implemented across the country in coordination with local and federal entities.

These upcoming initiatives will range from educational programmes, consultations, and training that will contribute to building a stable and responsible Emirati family in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial Strategy 2071, said Hessa Bint Eisa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development.
“The policy, which was recently adopted by the UAE Cabinet, will work to provide the utmost support for the UAE family under six pillars that have been identified, which include marriage, family relations, balance of roles, child protection, family protection, and re-engineering the provision of family services to achieve family happiness,” she said.
Under the child protection pillar, she added: "The ministry aims to develop and regulate legislation and laws related to the care of children inside and outside the home, and to design educational programs to ensure the highest levels of care and safety for the child.”

Among the main initiatives announced under the family relations pillar will be the preparation of a unified guide at national level to clarify the rights and duties of family members, the general principles of marital relations including special procedures that protect against family disintegration.
There are also plans to review and amend the requirements for licensing family counselling centres, as well as workshops and awareness sessions that focus on financial planning.
“We will review these initiatives on a quarterly basis and revise them when needed,” she said.
Bu Humaid highlighted that the Emirati family and Emirati mother have been central to the UAE since its establishment and that the Emirati family continues to maintain its cohesion, values and principles.
“In the UAE, we have noticed the positive impact of family cohesion on the prosperity and growth of societies in various fields. Our government is fully aware that there is no real development without the development of the human being, which is the nucleus of society development,” she said.
She pointed out that contemporary life may require family members to play different roles and that the policy’s initiatives will work to clarify those roles to them.
One of the main goals of the policy is the establishment of a family prepared to meet the challenges of married life and the ministry said they will have special educational campaigns carried out for those planning to get married.
The ministry said it will work with federal and local institutions and governmental and private stakeholders to achieve the objectives of each of the pillar.

Five main goals of the National Family Policy

  • Establish a family prepared to meet the challenges of married life.
  • Uphold the values of maintaining the stability and sustainability of the family and cohesion.
  • Provide a healthy environment to support the family in the face of life pressures
  • Improve the capabilities of the UAE family in order to build a promising generation
  • To achieve happiness for the Emirati family through cohesion