More than 5.7 million employees have subscribed to the UAE's unemployment insurance scheme since it went into effect on January 1.
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), over 5.6 million subscribers are from the private sector, while the rest are from federal government departments.
The deadline for signing up is October 1, after which an AED 400 penalty will be applied to non-subscribers.
Subscription is mandatory for UAE citizens and residents working in the UAE. Investors (business owners), domestic workers, temporary employees, minors under the age of 18 and retirees (who are reemployed and receive pension) are exempt from this rule.
The scheme aims to provide a safety net to workers for a limited period of time in case they lose their jobs.
Subscription can be completed through the Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) Insurance Pool website or smart application, self-service kiosks, business service centres, exchange companies (such as Al Ansari Exchange), banks’ smart applications and telecom service providers.
The insurance is divided into two categories – the first covering those with a basic salary of AED 16,000 and less. The insurance premium for the insured employee in this category is set at AED 5 per month (AED 60 annually), and monthly compensation is capped at AED 10,000 per month. The second category includes those with a basic salary exceeding AED 16,000, and the insurance premium is AED 10 per month (AED 120 annually) with a monthly compensation of up to AED 20,000.
The insurance compensation can be claimed as long as the insurer (employee) has been subscribed to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme for at least 12 consecutive months. The claim can be submitted within 30 days of job loss, and will be processed within two weeks of submission. The insured’s right to compensation is forfeited in the event that he/she cancels their residency and leaves the country, or joins a new job, within the processing period.
The compensation is calculated at the rate of 60 per cent of the average basic salary in the last six months before unemployment, and paid for a maximum of three months for each claim from the date of unemployment.
Those exempted from subscribing include investors, owners of facilities in which they work, domestic helpers, employees with a temporary employment contract, juveniles under 18 years of age, and retirees who receive a retirement pension and have joined a new job.