Ten semi-government and private entities adopt flexible working frameworks, policies, and facilities for working parents
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 18th of November 2020: In anticipation of the world’s celebrations on the occasion of the World Children’s Day 2020, His Highness Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), expresses his appreciation to organizations who played a role in adopting a supportive work environment for parents.
His appreciation came in the wake of a virtual event organized by the authority, with ten organizations and in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of ECA’s Board of Trustees and Chair of ECA’s Higher Committee, along with ECA’s Trustee Members
Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Her Excellency Reem Abdullah Al-Falasy, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Her Excellency Sanaa Mohammad Suhail, Transition Office Lead at Abu Dhabi ECA’s. Additionally, members from the upper management and representatives of several key departments from these entities attended the event. This event took place ahead of World Children’s Day 2020, which is being held this year under the slogan “Investing in the future means investing in our children.”
His Highness highlighted the importance of the ongoing efforts to offer a flexible and supportive work environment for parents and their families, particularly now with the challenges imposed upon remote working employees to balance work and family requirements. He also elaborated on the importance of adopting flexible working policies, frameworks and facilities for parents in all entities. That came to emphasize the parents’ role in offering the care and support needed to their children, along with promoting their mental health, all of which are particularly important when it comes to those with children of determination.
Following His Highness’s expression of appreciation for the mentioned efforts, he stressed that by offering support to working parents, we are collectively participating in establishing a strong foundation for the next generation. With that, we will be painting a brighter future for Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. Through the efforts of these entities in establishing a supportive work environment for parents and attracting national human resources, balance in the employment of citizens between the government and private sectors can be addressed.
This event was attended by: HE Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – ADNOC, HE Mohammed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Chairman of the Emirates Nature – WWF, HE Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Aldar Properties and Miral, HE Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Group CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala, H.E. Khalid Bin Shaiban Al Muhairi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Emirates Nature Society, Mr. Ahmed Abdul-Jalil Al Fahim, Chairman of Al Fahim Group, Mr. Nabil Rahim, Head of Global Markets, HSBC, Mr. Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Head of Global Banking, HSBC, Dr. Rakesh M. Suri, Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Ms. Mariët Westermann, Vice Chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi
and from another view, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak commented: “The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority is playing a critical role in nurturing and protecting our future generations, ensuring parents are supported in the workplace, and benefiting both families and employers. Our teams have been working closely with the Authority to share best practices and insights to support parent-friendly workplaces. We look forward to working together across similar social programmes and encourage all entities within Abu Dhabi to do the same, as this is part of achieving the Emirate’s vision of family cohesion and prosperity.”
Efforts and the positive steps have been taken to develop a supportive work environment for parents. Policies that support families and their needs, such as granting maternity and paternity leaves, offering flexible working hours, dedicating breastfeeding rooms, and adopting a flexible internal work environment that supports parents’ positive work-life balance have been adopted by these entities. Some of these entities even adopted other initiatives to further help the parents who work with them.
Her Excellency Sanaa Mohammad Suhail, Head of the founding team of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, pointed out the importance of having supportive workplaces for parents. She discussed the positive impact of these workplaces and how they affect not just the organization but also the employees, which reflects on participation, productivity, and low turnover rates. She noted that this is largely the case with working mothers particularly, who represent a huge and important portion of human resources. It is without doubt that companies should ensure to attract and make use of their qualifications and experience in the area of need.
Her Excellency said “We are all aware of the urgent need to provide care for newborns during postpartum. However, we often forget that cognitive, mental and behavioral development continue throughout childhood up until the age of eight. Therefore, it is important to continue improving the flexibility of the work environment to allow parents to become more present and contribute positively to the cognitive mental, and behavioral abilities of children during the early years of their lives.”
Her Excellency added “We are pleased with the outstanding results of adopting flexible working techniques, policies, and facilities that provide a supportive work environment for the parents. A supportive work environment for parents is one that shows an understanding of family needs when needed. That is why we believe that we can still do more for this cause. These entities demonstrate that supportive parenting policies are practical solutions to enhance employee satisfaction, commitment, productivity, and improve the overall quality of life.
From our side, we encourage entities from different working fields and sectors to join this initiative. We want all entities to provide the right environment to raise a child by offering support to working parents and caregivers alike.”
For his part, His Excellency Khalid bin Shaiban Al Muhairi said “The unlimited support that his Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, is giving to this vital sector and the authority’s initiative to value Daman’s efforts in supporting the comprehensive development process adopted by the state towards children. That consequently reflects on the stability and sustainability of the proper upbringing of this vital group in our society.
His Highness added ‘Daman was keen to adopt and implement a set of procedures and facilities to its employees, such as granting additional hours at the beginning of the school year, quickly and comprehensively implementing government standards related to maternity leave. That is in addition to facilities related to breastfeeding hours for mothers as well as paternity leave. Providing facilities that allow employees to build their families, look after their children and focus on them as a part of their family duties is considered a humanitarian practice in the first place, and a national duty towards the employees. It subsequently reflects on the professional environment as well as employee productivity and loyalty towards these institutions.
and Ms. Mariët Westermann said: The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority is demonstrating remarkable leadership on parent friendly workplace policies and providing essential support for children to thrive. NYU Abu Dhabi is proud to be among the organizations recognized for consistently striving to improve these important policies, which are more necessary than ever during the current global pandemic.
Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority urged these entities to continue their efforts to provide a supportive work environment for parents and share their experiment with other entities. The great benefits of developing policies that support working parents include improving employee satisfaction, increasing productivity levels and generally establishing a positive culture and happy work environment.