UAE unemployment insurance scheme: More than 60,000 sign up in first two days

Employees working in the UAE's free zones are currently exempt from subscribing to the scheme

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More than 60,000 employees have signed up for the unemployment insurance programme, the ministry said on Tuesday.

The social security programme, called the Involuntary Loss of Employment insurance scheme, will pay Emiratis and residents in the public and private sectors a cash sum for three months if they lose their jobs.

Employees working in the UAE's free zones are currently exempt from subscribing.

Workers can subscribe to the insurance programme in several ways, including through the insurance pool’s website or its smart application, the employee’s bank, ATMs, money exchange companies, business service centres, kiosk machines, du and Etisalat, or directly with an insurance company.

Compensation will be paid for a maximum of three months from the date of an employee’s job loss and will be calculated at 60 per cent of their basic salary over the most recent six months before the loss of employment for a maximum payment of Dh20,000 ($5,445) a month.

First announced in May, the scheme aims to provide a decent life for workers in the UAE until they find another job, according to the programme’s website.

Employers are not required to register their employees in an insurance scheme, nor are they required to pay any contributions to the scheme.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation signed an agreement with nine local insurance companies to operate and fund the scheme.

The ministry said more than 60,000 workers in the UAE have subscribed to the scheme in its first two days of operation.

It said 96 per cent of participants chose to subscribe to the scheme annually.

There are two categories of workers who are covered by the insurance programme. The first is those whose basic wage is Dh16,000 or less, which costs Dh5 per month or Dh60 yearly, and the maximum value of the monthly payment is Dh10,000.

The second category is those whose base wage is more than Dh16,000, which costs Dh10 per month or Dh120 annually. The maximum monthly compensation amount in this category is Dh20,000.

Employees are eligible for the jobless payment if they have worked and subscribed for at least 12 months to the insurance programme, as long as they have not been dismissed for disciplinary reasons or because they resigned.

If the insured employee does not resign or is not fired for disciplinary grounds, the insurance pays him a sum for a maximum of three months.

The pay is calculated on 60 per cent of the basic salary in the last six months before being unemployed.

The insured individual must submit the claim through the website app or the call centre on 600 599 555.

The insurance programme does not cover investors, such as owners of the establishments in which they work, domestic helpers, part-time employees, workers under the age of 18 and retirees who receive a pension and have joined a new job.

Updated: January 04, 2023, 5:23 AM