Friday, February 25, 2005

Maternity leave for teachers mandatory in UAE - Khaleej Times
ABU DHABI — Some private schools are allegedly depriving pregnant teachers of the mandatory 45-day paid maternity leave, forcing them to go on unpaid leave.

“I am due next month and I have been asked to take leave for three months starting from March first week. In effect, I don’t get a penny when I go for my delivery,” a teacher of an Indian private school in the capital told ‘Khaleej Times’, requesting anonymity.

The schools do this apparently to avoid paying the women teachers during their confinement. However, under the UAE labour laws, all women employees who have served for at least one academic year, are entitled to 45 days’ maternity leave with full pay. And those who have not completed this period are entitled to 45 days’ leave at half pay.
Times change. Back home in Orkney Springs, I was reading from the minutes of a public school board meeting from early in the 20th century. The issue before the board was the case of a teacher who got married. Teacher who became married were expected to quit - it was in their contract that they could not be married. When this teacher refused to quit, the board fired her.

In the Emirates, newly hired teachers in government schools (school for nationals) cannot be pregnant at the time they take up employment. In the case of teachers recruited from overseas, as many are, there can be many months between when the job offer is accepted and the start of school. The government's interest is that it very difficult to find a replacement teacher in a short amount of time, so it only wants to hire teachers who will not go on leave during the first year in which they are hired. In practice this also means that when it learns a newly-hired teacher is pregnant they terminate her in order to maintain the credibility of the rule. See that story here.

Mandated benefits. The issue in the quote above concerns government-mandated paid pregnancy leave for teachers in private schools.

Once again, we have a case of the government limiting the kinds of contracts into which private parties can enter. What are the consequences of mandating pregnancy leave?

Firstly, it causes schools to prefer male teachers over female teachers. At equal pay a male teacher becomes preferred to an equally qualified female. The female's salary offer will be lower than the males by the expected cost of the maternity benefit.

Second, it harms female teachers of child-bearing age who cannot or choose not to become pregnant. Their counterparts do receive a benefit (or expected benefit), but they do not. Yet they will be paid the same. It places them, actually, in an uncomfortable position. One can imagine they would like the employer to know they definitely will not become pregnant. But proving that would involve divulging very personal and private information.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sir the owner of the school where i am working told us that they are not going to give our salary this august because we didn't work in school for all we know sir as per labour law we are entitled for 60 days vacation with pay sir how come that the owner make a decision like that and what is the best the thing we can do sir??? thank you hoping for fast response.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous consejo comprar yate said...

It can't work in fact, that is exactly what I believe.

7:56 PM  

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