Employers in Dubai must now provide health insurance for all employees. This brings the position in Dubai in line with that of Abu Dhabi.

The Health Insurance Law for the Emirate of Dubai (No. 11 of 2013) (the “Law”) came into effect on 1 January 2014 and requires compulsory health insurance provision for all employees, including those working in free zones. The Law is to be implemented in three phases, according to the number of employees employed within a workforce, with the final phase to be completed by the end of 2016.

Under the Law, employers must put in place direct cover for all employees and employers are prohibited from deducting the cost of the insurance from the employee’s salary. Employees, like in Abu Dhabi, may be required to pay a “co-insurance” amount payable directly to the medical services provider at the time of their medical appointment. However, in contrast to the position in Abu Dhabi, employers will not be responsible for providing health insurance for an employee’s dependants.

Actions for employers

Employers should review their health insurance provisions and take any necessary action to ensure these meet the requirements of the Law at the time of the relevant implementation phase.