The UAE made it mandatory for Emirati and expat employees working in the private and federal government departments to subscribe to the Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) insurance scheme before June 30, failing which they will be subject to a Dh400 fine.
During the first two days of the year, more than 60,000 employees had signed up for the scheme.
In addition to enrolling, companies can also pay premiums on behalf of their employees and can either deduct them later from their salaries or contribute to the scheme as an incentive.
Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder president, Thumbay Group, said they’re encouraging employees to subscribe to the scheme as it will help them in case of a job loss, by assisting them to pay bills and take sufficient time to make the right decisions about their future.
In addition, he said, this initiative encourages greater confidence in developing a career in the UAE.
“Job loss insurance scheme improves the competitiveness of the labour market, and encourages people from around the region and the globe to look more closely at the UAE as a destination to live, work and invest,” he said, adding that this will result in a less transient labour pool, helping retain and develop knowledge in the economy.
Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, said his firm had already started educating its over 3,000 employees about the benefits of this scheme in the long run and in case of unexpected job loss due to market conditions. “The response from our employees has been extremely positive and we will continue to encourage them to sign up for the job loss insurance scheme.”
Fara Siddiqi, group chief human resources officer, Aster DM Healthcare, said the group is positively encouraging its 9,000-plus employees to actively participate in the ILOE insurance scheme.
“Aster aspires to provide workplace and social safety through our well-being practices, which include mental, physical, and financial well-being. For events like job loss and financial support for critical events for our employees, we had already created programmes like ‘Just Ask’, which support employee financial needs for crises and critical life events,” she said.
Samara Punjabi, CEO, Times Square Group, believes that the unemployment insurance scheme will help retain and attract the best international talent and is an immunity shield in case of the unfortunate event of a job loss.
“We completely support the scheme and encourage it amongst our employees. The aim is to ensure that our talent force feels valued and safe to keep attrition rates low. This will also keep up high morale and productivity rate in the organisation,” added Punjabi.
Deadline causes a sense of urgency
Anselm Mendes, executive director for sales, Continental Group, said owing to a June 30 deadline for registration, the activities surrounding the involuntary job loss insurance scheme are gathering a sense of urgency in the private sector.
“Companies are either encouraging employees to enrol on their own or do it themselves as part of corporate policies. In any case, the discourse is picking up, with employees exuding good awareness. While the subject’s inherent relevance for employees is the primary reason behind heightened awareness, the impact of media coverage has been equally pivotal,” said Mendes.
“A few companies are encouraging employees to enrol online, promising assistance on every step. Corporate undertakings are likely to wrap up sooner than self-enrolments will,” he added.
Moin Ur Rehman, executive director, Unitrust Insurance, said many employers in the private sector had informed their staff members about the scheme and encouraged them to sign up for it.
“Companies have sent out e-mail circulars and it has also been a topic of discussion among employees, as many explore the option of enrolling in the scheme. Since the scheme is mandatory for employees, private companies are also encouraging their employees to enrol in the job loss insurance scheme,” he said.