Stock - UAE jobs
The cost of subscribing for the UAE job loss scheme is about the ‘price of a cup of coffee’. And the benefits that accrue to employees are manifold. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Sign up for the UAE’s new job loss insurance coverage at the earliest and thus extend short-term financial protection for the individual and the family, suggest industry sources. More than 60,000 employees in the UAE with various organizations have already done so in the first 48 hours of the Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) scheme opening for subscription on January 1.

“The cost for subscribing to the ILOE is the same as the price of a cup of coffee,” said Rajendran M, Managing Director - Middle East at Al Futtaim Willis. “Moreover, the scheme is holistic - it protects the needs of the entire family.

“Employees can supplement their savings and keep their families in the UAE with this amount. They are not forced to send them back home.”

The scheme will also act as a security blanket for entry level employees who send a big chunk of their income back home as remittances. Since this category of expats has a lower disposable income, it is highly recommended that they sign up without delays.

Know more about the new scheme

Insurers reckon this is just the beginning of the scheme and evolve to provide better coverage. Rajendran said the plan, currently limited to three months payouts after a job loss, could extend to six months, for instance.

“Three months is a short time for unemployed expatriates to find another job,” he added. “As the scheme progresses, I believe it can extend up to six months and provide additional benefits, especially to those in a lower income category.”

Though the payout from the insurance policy would not maintain the individual’s standards of living, it would help them get through a difficult time. The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization’s primary focus is to protect employees’ interests.

“The initiative is revolutionary, especially after COVID-19 retrenchments in 2020,” Rajendran said. “Many were hit with sudden job losses during that time. Initiatives like these are a great way to ensure employee welfare.”

Change at the workplace

According to Dr. Gary Pheiffer, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said the scheme would change the nature of the employee–employer relationships. “Earlier, we had a static view of the labour market. But, we are no longer an insular economy, and we are changing and adopting innovative models by giving people a sense of security.

“The scheme can retain fluidity in the labour market as people do not have to return to their home countries. They can stay and look for other jobs.”

Plus, the job seeker visa, introduced last year, can be used by expatriates, giving them the freedom to look for other options legally.