Major facilities management company Serco Middle East has announced enhanced maternity and paternity leave policies for its employees. The new benefits surpass local labour laws and demonstrate Serco’s commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where both women and men are supported.  

Operating across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Serco reviewed its parental leave provisions and opted to extend maternity leave in both countries. In the UAE, the period is now 90 calendar days fully paid compared to the statutory 60 days. Employees also receive an additional 30 days at half pay.  

The changes are even more significant in Saudi Arabia. Maternity leave has been lengthened from the legal 70 days fully paid to 90 days. An extra 30 days at half pay is also provided. This represents increases of 20 days fully paid and 30 days at half pay over Saudi labour law requirements.

In addition to raising maternity leave ceilings, Serco now offers women in either country the option of up to one full year of paid parental leave after having a baby. The enhanced benefits acknowledge that new mothers may need more flexible work arrangements to balance job and family responsibilities.

Paternity leave was also extended, reflecting Serco’s goal of supporting all parents welcoming new children. Where fathers previously received just 5 days, they can now take 10 days off to bond with their newborns. 

Serco’s leadership views the policy upgrades as aligning with its diversity and inclusion strategy. Women currently comprise 44% of Serco’s executive team and hold 42% of critical management roles across the region.

The company has experienced rising female employment, with 70 women joining last year compared to 30 in 2022. Promotions and new positions went to women for 19% of opportunities in 2023. 

Serco’s Operations Director commented that the parental leave improvements symbolise its commitment to cultivating an equitable workplace. A supportive start for families through flexible benefits demonstrates Serco’s dedication to work-life balance meeting all employees’ evolving needs.

The expanded maternity, paternity and family leave provisions add to Serco’s existing staff well-being programs. Employees receive training, health services, recognition awards and career development reviews. 

By investing in its people and prioritising gender equality, Serco aims to be an exemplary regional employer of choice for both women and men. The new parental leave policies signal its ambition to foster diversity while accommodating life stages like welcoming children. Serco’s family-friendly approach should support further retention and recruitment of top talent across the Middle East.