Press release

17 Jul 2018 Dubai, AE

EY extends parental leave in MENA; encourages gender diversity in the workplace

Dubai, 17 July 2018. EY announced a new parental leave policy extending maternity leave in the MENA region to sixteen weeks and a paternity leave of one week for new mothers and fathers.

Press contact
Lamice Murshid

EY MENA Brand, Marketing and Communications Leader

Brand and communications strategist. Imaginative storyteller. Believer in the power of diversity as a key ingredient of creativity and innovation. Adventurous travel partner. Loving mother.

  • EY offers sixteen weeks paid maternity and one week paid paternity leave for new parents
  • Additional benefits include the option to extend leave up to a year
  • New policy aimed at attracting and retaining female talent, offering new mothers the infrastructure to ease back into the workplace

EY announced a new parental leave policy extending maternity leave in the MENA region to sixteen weeks and a paternity leave of one week for new mothers and fathers. EY implemented its new policy effective 1 July 2018 for employees welcoming a child through birth, adoption, or surrogacy.

The new structure is designed to allow a longer period of time for parents to bond with their children, empowering them to transition back into an office setting that is flexible and accommodating of their family needs and is a significant extension from the previous ten week maternity and one day paternity leave.

The increased support by EY for new parents is in line with the company’s efforts to encourage a gender diverse workforce and retain talent. Complementing the new changes, EY employees are also being trained and encouraged in aiding their colleagues to adapt to work life after being away on leave.

Rachel Ellyard, MENA Talent Leader, EY, says: “At EY we believe a gender diverse workforce not only makes good business sense, but is an asset to the communities we live and work in. We extended the EY parental leave policy to help parents manage the new balance between career and family together. As a company that employs strong female leadership, we especially understand the significance of maternity leave and the role it plays in allowing women to build a strong foundation for their children and family life. By creating an environment where women have the flexibility to manage their transition back to work and have greater control over their responsibilities, we hope to encourage more women to continue to expand their career opportunities within EY after becoming a parent.”

In its commitment to attracting and retaining the highest talent pool and raising industry-wide standards, EY will offer new parents additional benefits including having the option to extend leave for up to one year; an offer of formal or informal flexible timings for parents returning to work; special arrangements for breastfeeding and nursing time at the workplace; and Keeping in Touch (KIT) days, where employees on parental leave can arrange specific days for project updates with their teams to enable a smooth and stress-free transition back into the workplace. Employees who need further support during the transition period will also have access to specialized family coaching sessions through the EY MENA Coaching Centre. These include dedicated sessions for fathers who need help balancing the roles of supporting a family and managing work commitments.

 “We are proud to raise the benchmark of parental leave offered in the MENA region. We hope to encourage our peers and set an example of a supportive and inclusive workplace,” adds Rachel.

The new parental leave policy has been implemented on a MENA-wide basis including: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq.


Notes to Editors

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

The MENA practice of EY has been operating in the region since 1923. For more than 90 years, we have grown to more than 6,000 people united across 20 offices and 15 countries, sharing the same values and an unwavering commitment to quality. As an organization, we continue to develop outstanding leaders who deliver exceptional services to our clients and who contribute to our communities. We are proud of our accomplishments over the years, reaffirming our position as the largest and most established professional services organization in the region.

This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, or other professional advice. Please refer to your advisors for specific advice.