Employees in the UAE should subscribe to the job loss insurance scheme as early as possible to properly benefit from the scheme and file claims in time.

The UAE introduced the Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) scheme on January 1, 2023, to support employees who lost their job for reasons other than disciplinary action or resignation until they find a new job.

It's mandatory for employees working in for private sector and federal government employees to subscribe to the scheme.

Employees in the UAE can subscribe to the insurance scheme for up to one or two years. Failure to register in the unemployment insurance scheme by June 30, 2023, will result in a penalty of Dh400 for the employee.

"People should join as soon as possible because there is a condition whereby employees will have to subscribe for at least 12 consecutive months in order to be eligible to submit a claim. This means cash benefit shall be provided for a maximum of three months to the employees after completing 12 months," said Dana Kansou, manager, strategic partnerships at Dubai Insurance, which is spearheading the campaign on behalf of the ILOE pool in the country.

Citing an example, she said if an employee loses a job on January 15, 2024, and purchases the policy on January 20, 2023, she/he will not be able to file a claim.

"But if they have registered for the scheme before losing the job for at least 12 consecutive months, then they are eligible for the claim. Therefore, people should subscribe as soon as possible to start the countdown of the eligibility of the 12 consecutive months to submit a claim," said Kansou.

Under the ILOE scheme, the eligible employees will be compensated with a monthly cash benefit of up to 60 per cent of their average basic salaries for the six months before loss of employment.

Two plans were introduced as part of this scheme. In Category A, employees with a basic salary of Dh16,000 or below will have to pay Dh5 plus VAT per month (or Dh60 plus VAT for a year) for monthly compensation of up to Dh10,000 for three months maximum. For Category B, workers earning over Dh16,000 are required to pay Dh10 plus VAT a month (Dh120 plus VAT for a year) for monthly compensation of up to Dh20,000 for a maximum of three months.

It is also mandatory that the employee should be a legal resident in the country.

Employees in UAE are eligible for 12 months of compensation during their whole working life in UAE.

However, the benefits of the scheme will be seized once the employee gets a new job within the three months of eligible compensation.