Dubai: Parent-friendly workplace policies allow parents to care for their children’s well-being as many individuals in the UAE face challenges in balancing work and family obligations.
This was one of the key takeaway messages from a webinar organized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, to introduce the Parent-Friendly Label program to the business community in Dubai. The webinar was held in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) and the chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business to promote the program and encourage Dubai-based businesses to apply.
ECA first launched the Parent-friendly Label in 2021 at the Abu Dhabi Emirate level. It is the first program of its kind in the region. The success of the first cycle of the program, with six organizations earning the Label for implementing parent-friendly policies, has inspired a nationwide roll-out in November last year.
Mr. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, stated that, “The promotion and expansion of work practices and environments that enable individuals to effectively balance their professional and family responsibilities; especially for parents who care for young children, is of critical importance in building healthy societies and sustainable economies. Work-life balance is a pressing policy issue for our business community and in this context the Parent-friendly Label is a great initiative to encourage organizations to adopt more parent-friendly policies and child-supportive practices. As part of our efforts to improve Dubai’s favorable business environment, we will continue to promote and prioritize awareness and advocacy initiatives that support parents to balance their professional and childcare obligations.”
The Parent-friendly Label is a voluntary workplace award program that specifies a set of criteria that the semi-government, private or third sectors can adopt in order to be recognized by the ECA for their parent-friendly policies and practices. Working families in the UAE often need to make difficult tradeoffs in order to fulfil their commitments. By establishing policies and ways of working that are more compatible with the needs of working parents of young children aged 0-8, organizations will help foster a parent-friendly workplace culture in the UAE.
Research has shown that flexible working options are important to 90 percent of the UAE workforce. Over half (56 percent) of people working in the UAE want more emphasis on employee well-being and a work-life balance, according to the Cisco Hybrid Work Report 2022. This is the first public webinar that the ECA has organized in collaboration with an organization like Dubai Chambers following the launch of the new nationwide cycle of the Parent-friendly Label program.