About 250,000 sign up for UAE's unemployment insurance scheme in 12 days

The programme offers a safety net to those who lose their jobs

Visitors sign up for information at the Ducab stand, Ru'ya UAE National Career Fair, at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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About 250,000 workers have signed up to the UAE's unemployment insurance programme since it was introduced at the start of the year, the country's labour minister said.

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

It aims to cushion the financial blow of unemployment and provide people with support as they attempt to get back into work.

Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the programme would be key to attracting and retaining talent in the Emirates.

“More than 221,000 people registered in the unemployment scheme during the first 10 days of the year,” said Mr Al Awar.

“The number jumped to 250,000 registered employees on Thursday.

“We are very proud and happy about that.

“People who lost their jobs can have a window of three months searching in the market for another job while getting the insurance money.

“We believe this will become very important policy to attract and retain talent in the UAE.”

How does the scheme work?

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.

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. The cost is 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. The costs is 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 or her a sum for a maximum of three months.

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.

Updated: January 13, 2023, 8:45 AM