ARTICLE
13 January 2023

Subscription To Unemployment Insurance Now Mandatory For UAE Employees

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Gowling WLG

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The Federal Decree Law No. 13 of 2022 (the "Federal Law") concerning the Unemployment Insurance Scheme (the "Scheme") and the Cabinet Decision No. 97 of 2022 concerning the Mechanisms...
United Arab Emirates Employment and HR
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The Federal Decree Law No. 13 of 2022 (the "Federal Law") concerning the Unemployment Insurance Scheme (the "Scheme") and the Cabinet Decision No. 97 of 2022 concerning the Mechanisms and Controls for Implementing the Unemployment Insurance Scheme have been issued and it is mandatory for workers in the UAE (excluding financial free zones: the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market) to subscribe to the Scheme and pay a monthly subscription.

The Scheme provides security for employees who lost their jobs due to reasons other than disciplinary action or resignation until they find a new job (e.g. in the event of termination of employment by employer for reason of redundancy). It also ensures the continuity of income for a limited period of time to the insured during the period of their unemployment which attract and retain the best international talents from among skilled workers.

Who must subscribe?

The Scheme is mandatory and applies to all employees, Emiratis and expatriates in the private and public sector with the exception of the following categories:

The Scheme is mandatory and applies to all employees, Emiratis and expatriates in the private and public sector with the exception of the following categories:

  1. Investors (owners of the establishment in which they work);
  2. Domestic workers;
  3. Employees under temporary contracts;
  4. Juveniles who are under the age of (18) eighteen years; and
  5. Retirees who receive a retirement pension and have joined a new job.

Employees should subscribe through the Scheme's website or any other channel announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in due course.

Eligibility criteria

Employees who have subscribed for the Scheme will be entitled to benefit from the insurance coverage if they meet a number of conditions including the following:

  1. The employee has subscribed to the Scheme for not less than 12 consecutive months and has paid all relevant premiums;
  2. The employee has not resigned or been dismissed from his job for disciplinary reasons in accordance with the provisions of the applicable legislation;
  3. The employee must submit a claim within 30 days from the date of termination of employment, or if relevant, the decision on the labour complaint referred to the judiciary; and
  4. The employee must be legally resident in the UAE.

How does the Scheme apply?

The premium payable by employees depends on their current basic salary.

An employee with a basic salary of AED 16,000 or less will pay a monthly insurance premium of AED 5 or AED 60 annually. Eligible employees in this category will be compensated with a monthly cash benefit up to 60% of their average basic salaries which shall not exceed three month payments of up to AED 10,000 per month following the involuntary termination of their employment.

An employee with a basic salary exceeding AED 16,000 will pay a monthly insurance premium of AED 10 or AED 120 annually. Eligible employees in this category will be compensated with a monthly benefit up to 60% of their average basic salaries, which shall not exceed three month payments of up to AED 20,000 per month following the involuntary termination of their employment.

What are the penalties imposed for failure to subscribe?

The subscription to the Scheme has started from 1 January 2023. The obligation to subscribe falls on the employee. There is a three month period in which to comply but failure to subscribe to the Scheme within three months, or non-payment of the Scheme payment for a period of three months from the due date of the premium, will result in a fine imposed against the employee ranging from AED 200 to AED 400. Any fines accrued may be deducted from the employee's wage or end of service gratuity accrual. The implementing regulation of the Federal Law will clarify this mechanism.

Recommendation

The Scheme provides an income protection insurance that offers financial support to employees during the period of their unemployment until they find alternative job opportunities in the UAE. This is a positive step in the UAE's commitment to attract and retain the best international talents. It is incumbent on all employees (excluding employees working in the financial free zones) in both the private and public sectors to subscribe to the Scheme as required before the deadline to avoid penalties that may be imposed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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