UAE residents get alerts to renew job loss insurance policies

Early subscribers are now financially protected if they are terminated; here’s why

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 14 Dec 2023, 10:41 PM

UAE residents who were among the first to subscribe to the mandatory insurance against job loss at the beginning of 2023 have started receiving reminders to renew their policies.

“Your ILOE (Involuntary Loss of Employment Insurance) policy is due for renewal on January 2, 2024. Please login to your account … to update your details and renew your policy before expiration,” reads a text message sent to this reporter, who had subscribed to the scheme on January 1, 2023 — the first day when it became available.

Renewal can be done via the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s (MoHRE) digital platforms by clicking on the ‘Subscribe/Renew Here’ button.

The renewal reminders come even as the MoHRE announced Wednesday that about 14 per cent of eligible employees are yet to subscribe to the mandatory scheme. Early subscribers, however, are now financially protected in case of job loss. Even though millions of residents have signed up for the scheme, they can claim compensation for job loss only if have subscribed to the scheme for at least 12 consecutive months. This means people who signed up in January 2023 become eligible for compensation now.

They can’t claim compensation if they leave the country or get a new job.

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According to the MoHRE, over 6.7 million UAE residents have subscribed to the scheme since it went to effect. The deadline to enrol ended on October 1. A Dh400 fine was imposed on workers who failed to sign up.

A Dh200 fine applies on subscribers who fail to pay the premiums for more than three months. Employees whose work permits were issued after October 1, 2023, must subscribe to the scheme within four months, failing which they face a Dh400 fine.

Employees who fail to pay their fines for three months from the due date will have the amount deducted from their wages or end-of-service gratuity. New work permits will not be issued till the fines are cleared.

Emiratis and expatriates working in the federal government and private sectors are required to subscribe to the scheme. Exempted categories include investors, domestic helpers, temporary contract workers, juveniles and retirees who are entitled to a pension.

The ultra-low-cost scheme is divided into two categories:

The first covers those with a basic salary of Dh16,000 or below, where the insurance premium is set at Dh5 per month (Dh60 annually). The maximum monthly compensation is set at Dh10,000.

The second covers those with a basic salary exceeding Dh16,000, where the insurance premium is Dh10 per month (Dh120 annually). The monthly compensation for this category is capped at Dh20,000.

The compensation is paid for a maximum of three months from the date of unemployment, provided the employee was not terminated for disciplinary reasons. The amount is calculated at the rate of 60 per cent of the average basic salary in the six months before unemployment.

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