UAE workers face fines as deadline to register for unemployment insurance passes

The social security programme is aimed at providing financial protection to employees who lose their jobs

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Workers who have failed to sign up to the UAE's unemployment insurance scheme will face fines of Dh400 ($109) from Sunday.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation had urged employees to register before October 1 to avoid the penalty.

The social security support programme, which was announced in May last year, is a financial safety net that will pay Emiratis and UAE residents a cash sum for three months if their employment is terminated.

Responsibility for registration lies with each employee, but the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said last month there was an option for employers to register their staff in the system.

More than 5.7 million employees have subscribed to the labour initiative since it came into effect on January 1, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said on Tuesday.

The nominal subscription fee does not exceed Dh5 per month for workers earning basic monthly salaries of Dh16,000 or less, or Dh10 per month for workers earning more than Dh16,000.

Workers also have the right to subscribe to additional insurance benefits.

Subscriptions can be completed at

Workers must keep up payments

How to sign up for UAE's unemployment insurance scheme

How to sign up for UAE's unemployment insurance scheme

Employees who have registered could still incur fines if they do not maintain their insurance payments.

Subscribers were given the option of making a single payment to cover the year's subscription or in quarterly and monthly payments.

A fine of Dh200 will be imposed on any subscribers who fails to pay insurance premiums for more than three months beyond the due date

The worker's insurance certificate will also be cancelled.

If the fine is not settled within three months from the due date, it will be deducted either through the wages protection system, end of service benefits or any other method approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the UAE government website states.

How does the insurance scheme work?

The scheme covers workers from the federal and private sectors, including UAE citizens and residents, as well as employees working in free zones.

Those who own the company where they work, along with domestic staff, temporary contract workers, under 18s and retirees who receive a pension but have since started working again are all exempt from signing up.

To be eligible for compensation in the case of job loss, the insured person must have been registered in the scheme for no less than 12 consecutive months.

They must also submit an application requesting compensation within 30 days of leaving work, provided their employment was not terminated for disciplinary reasons, they have not resigned, and the compensation request was not found to be fraudulent.

Compensation payments are then suspended from the date the worker begins a new job or leaves the country.

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 for a maximum payment of Dh20,000 per month, according to the ministry.

For example, if you earn a basic salary of Dh10,000 per month and you lose your job, you will receive 60 per cent of that, or Dh6,000, for three months.

Updated: October 01, 2023, 12:02 PM