Dubai: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) today announced that the Unemployment Insurance Scheme has exceeded 1 million subscribers since its launch in January.
The Scheme covers employees in the federal government sector and the private sector, providing low-cost job security net that supports the career path and living stability of employees in the UAE. It aims to boost the labour market’s competitiveness by adopting innovative mechanisms without additional costs on employers.
Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the Scheme “has had a positive impact on the labour market”, describing it as a “driver of growth for the UAE’s economic sectors”.
He called on those that are eligible to subscribe to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme to benefit from its insurance coverage, and on employers to encourage their employees to subscribe.
The insurance is divided into two categories – the first covering those with a basic salary of Dh16,000 and less. The insurance premium for the insured employee in this category is set at Dh5 per month (Dh60 annually), and monthly compensation is capped at Dh10,000 per month.
The second category includes those with a basic salary exceeding Dh16,000, and the insurance premium is Dh10 per month (Dh120 annually) with a monthly compensation of up to Dh20,000.
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.
Employees may subscribe to the Unemployment Insurance Scheme via the Insurance Pool’s website, smart application (ILOE), bank smart phone applications, kiosk machines, business service centres, money exchanges, SMS and telecommunication bills.
Dr Al Awar said: “The Regulation of Labour Relations law and its executive regulations, after more than a year of implementation, improved the UAE’s labour market’s flexibility, competitiveness, and productivity, enhanced the country’s ease of doing business, and attracted national and international talents. It also strengthened the private sector’s role as a partner in building a knowledge-based economy that is the strongest, fastest growing, and most flexible in the region, in line with the directives and vision of the UAE’s leadership.”
The minister revealed that the year 2022 witnessed an 11 per cent growth in the total number of private sector establishments in the UAE, compared to 2021. He added that this increase was accompanied by a 38 per cent growth in the total number of work permits issued by the Ministry – equating more than 2.1 million, compared to 1.5 million in 2021. About 51 per cent of those permits are for professional levels (1-5), as the overall number of employees in the private sector jumped by 13 per cent.
“Most notably, women’s participation in the private sector increased by 20 per cent in 2022. This increase is testament to the UAE’s leadership’s support for women and the efficiency of labour market legislation and national policies to achieve a greater inclusion and diversity in the workplace.”
Dr Al Awar added that the private sector’s statistics in 2022 reflect the joint efforts of entities across the UAE to promote the business environment in the country, in line with the legal frameworks that set the developmental requirements for the next 50 years and align with the wise leadership’s directives to develop priority sectors that support the future economy.
He indicated that the new results stimulate the private sector’s ability to achieve sustainable growth and increase its contribution to the country’s GDP.
He said: “These growths in the labour market are complemented by the unprecedented results and achievements in the Emiratisation levels during 2022, under the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council [Nafis].
This is particularly significant in terms of the increase in the number of Emiratis working the private sector in 2022 by 70 per cent compared to 2021, which reflects the strength of our economy and the diversity of job opportunities in the private sector.”
Over 600,000 inspections
On inspections, Khalil Al Khoori, Undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs, said: “As part of the inspection automation process, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has adopted online channels such as Inspection App, Smart Assessment Forms and Maps, to ensure efficient, accurate and transparent inspections based on the risk matrix and the identification of risk factors as indicators of labour market discipline.”
In 2022, MoHRE completed more than 612,000 inspections of private sector establishments. They recorded more than 12,000 violations, with administrative fines imposed accordingly. At the same time, more than 3,000 petitions were filed with the legal authorities against establishments violating the Regulation of Labour Relations Law. More than 3,000 establishments were also referred to the Public Prosecution as they failed to pay wages through the Wages Protection System (WPS).
The violations included non-compliance with employment requirements, occupational health and safety, Wage Protection System, non-conformity to housing/accommodation standards, and non-compliance with the mid-day break during the summer months. The violations also included non-compliance with the regulations on issuing contracts and work permits, unlicensed work or temporary employment agency, fake Emiratisation, employers holding official documents belonging to domestic workers, and other violations.
In addition, more than 2 million employees in the private sector benefited from self-direction, awareness, and guidance programs regarding the rights and responsibilities of both contractual parties. These programmes were provided in 15 languages, by centres specialised in educating and guiding workers. In addition, 82 workshops were held to raise awareness of the regulations, with the participation of more than 7,000 employers.
Ayesha Belharfia, Acting Undersecreaty for Emiratisation Affairs and Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, said that during 2022, the Ministry resolved around 81 per cent of labour complaints amicably, while the remaining 19 per cent of were refereed to labour courts as the parties involved could not reach amicable solutions.
She reiterated MoHRE’s commitment to protecting both parties in an employment relationship, and guaranteeing their rights fairly. She said: “This strengthens the UAE’s status as a global destination to live, invest, and work in, within a competitive and flexible labour market that is supported by a robust regulatory ecosystem, in line with the nation’s co-signing of international labour agreements.”
She added: “We are also committed to facilitating the procedures for submitting and dealing with complaints by specialised legal researchers in a transparent and unbiased way. These legal researchers are also keen to find amicable solutions between the involved parties to save time and efforts for both, complainants as well as the labour courts.”