UAE extends unemployment insurance deadline for employees

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Authorities in the UAE extended the deadline for employees to apply for unemployment insurance by three months on Thursday.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) announced in a statement that employees have until October 1, 2023 to apply for the unemployment safety net.

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“The Ministry has extended the deadline for fines on non-subscribers to the Unemployment Insurance System. Now, you have until 1 October, 2023, instead of 1 July, to register and avoid a AED400 fine,” the UAE government body said.

The ministry previously set July 1 as the deadline to apply.

Employees in the UAE’s government and private sector were advised to opt in for an unemployment insurance scheme that came into force in October 2022. In November 2022, the ministry said all UAE employees must apply for the insurance plan by 2023.

The program aims to temporarily guarantee a monthly amount to public and private sector employees in the event of unexpected unemployment.

Payment is given out for a maximum of three months. To qualify for the payment, the employee must be insured for a minimum of 12 months.

The cost of insurance has been divided into two categories:

Employees with a basic salary lower than $4,350 (AED 16,000) can contribute $1.3 (AED 5) per month toward the insurance. Monthly compensation for this category will not exceed $2,720 (AED 10,000).

Employees with a basic salary higher than $4,350 (AED 16,000) can contribute $2.72 (AED 10) per month toward the insurance. Monthly compensation in this category will not exceed $5,440 (AED 20,000).

The compensation amount upon job loss can be claimed at 60 percent of the basic salary.

Employers are not required to bear the cost of subscribing to the unemployment insurance but can choose to do so. The law also excludes “investors (owners of the establishments in which they work), domestic helpers, part-time employees, juveniles under the age of 18, and retirees who receive a retirement pension and have joined a new job,” according to an earlier state-run WAM news agency report.

Gulf states Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have provided some form of unemployment support to citizens while Bahrain also has a form of jobless insurance for resident non-citizen workers.

Permission to reside in Gulf countries like the UAE has traditionally been tied to employment. Under recent reforms, UAE residents whose visa is canceled can remain for up to six months versus 30 days previously.

The changes come as part of the UAE’s wider vision to attract and retain talent in the country.

Read more:

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Over 250,000 workers opt for unemployment insurance in UAE, two weeks after launch

UAE workers must opt-in for unemployment insurance from 2023, costs revealed

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