Egypt restricts mums to maximum of three maternity leaves, rejects paternal leave

Egypt restricts mums to maximum of three maternity leaves, rejects paternal leave
The Egyptian Senate has amended a labour law article that allowed three maternity leaves, four months each, while at the same time, rejected a proposal for a seven-day parental leave.
2 min read
17 January, 2022
Egyptian women are now entitled to three maternity leaves only [Getty]

CAIRO - Egyptian women will be entitled to a maximum of three maternity leaves after the Senate on Sunday passed an amendment to the country's labour law, local news outlets have reported.

Women working in the public and the private sectors in Egypt will be limited to four months of paid maternity leave throughout their careers, the reports added.

The Senate also rejected a proposal to grant fathers seven-day of paternity leave, state-run Al-Ahram online portal reported.

The previous law article gave women only 90 days of paid maternity leave and an hour for breastfeeding when mums returned to work, provided they had worked at that workplace for at least 10 months prior to childbirth.

The new article on maternity leave is believed to conform with the state's policy of birth control.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has frequently claimed that Egypt's population growth is unsustainable and a major reason behind the country's problems.

On 22 December, Sisi, a father of four, denounced his country's "culture of population growth" at a public event and chided parents, saying they must consider how they will support their children when planning for families.

On that day, Sisi announced that newlyweds would receive no free food rations, while the subsidies for those already holding ration cards would be limited to two people rather than every member of the family.

The decision sent shockwaves across the country, particularly among the poor.