Saudi Education Ministry stops giving teachers maternity leave

The Ministry of Education is planning to stop maternity leave that is granted to new mothers

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The Education Ministry in Saudi Arabia sent messages to school principals that maternity leave has been halted for all teachers, administrators, principals, supervisors and other educational cadre.

Some principals said this directive might have been issued due to the increase of women taking maternity leave at the beginning of the school year that resulted in shortages of house workers.

According to sources in the ministry, teachers who want maternity leave should apply for unpaid leave.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Education Mubarak Al-Esaimi said the decision has not yet been issued and added that contracting with substitute teachers will be accepted only in exceptional cases.

The Ministry of Education used to grant maternity leave to teachers if a substitute teacher was available.

In such instances the replacements have to sign a written agreement that they have the same specialty as the teachers they are replacing.

Meanwhile, educational departments in Saudi Arabia are relocating substitute teachers to fill available posts throughout the country.

Al-Esaimi pointed out the ministry has conducted a complete appraisal of all schools to determine each of their requirements.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.

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