What do employees need to do?
Benefits under scheme
Are employers required to register employees in a scheme?


The United Arab Emirates government recently announced that employees in the federal government and private sectors must register in an unemployment insurance scheme designed to provide financial support to employees if they lose their job.

What must employees do?

Since 1 January 2023, employees must register with an unemployment insurance scheme.

Unemployment insurance schemes are provided by a number of selected insurance providers in the United Arab Emirates. Employees may enrol in an insurance scheme via:

  • insurance booth websites;
  • their bank;
  • ATM machines throughout the United Arab Emirates;
  • exchange centres;
  • banking centres;
  • Du or Etisalat; or
  • directly with an insurance company

Once registered, employees must start paying monetary contributions to the scheme as follows:

  • Employees earning less than 16,000 dirhams (approximately £3,500) must contribute a minimum of 5 dirhams (approximately £1) per month to their selected scheme.
  • Employees earning more than 16,000 dirhams must contribute a minimum of 10 dirhams per month to their selected scheme.

Failure to register in an unemployment insurance scheme will result in a penalty of 400 dirhams (approximately £90) being imposed on the employee. When employees fail to register in an insurance scheme and do not pay any contributions for more than three months, they will be fined an additional 200 dirhams (approximately £45).

Benefits under scheme

If an employee has paid into a scheme for at least 12 months and meets the eligibility requirements, on termination of their employment, the employee will be entitled to receive financial assistance from the scheme for a period of up to three months from the date of termination – equal to 60% of their monthly salary. Compensation is capped at 10,000 dirhams (approximately £2,245) in respect of employees earning less than 16,000 dirhams per month and 20,000 dirhams (approximately £4,490) for employees earning more than 16,000 dirhams per month. Scheme benefits will cease from the date the employee secures alternative employment in the United Arab Emirates or three months from their last day of employment, whichever is earliest.

Employees who resign or who are dismissed for disciplinary reasons will not be entitled to benefits from the scheme.

Are employers required to register employees in a scheme?

No. Employers are not required to register their employees in an insurance scheme, nor are employers required to pay any contributions to a scheme. The unemployment insurance scheme is an employee requirement only. However, employers are advised to remind their employees of their obligation to register.

For further information on this topic please contact at Joanna Matthews-Taylor, Aqsa Khan-Sadiq or Sami Nasr at Baker McKenzie by telephone (+61 2 9225 0200) or email ([email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]). The Baker McKenzie website can be accessed at www.bakermckenzie.com.