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14 January 2020

DIFC amends employment laws

The plan replaces the existing accruing of end-of-service gratuity benefits in favour of employees, which is currently in line with the rest of the UAE.

The amended DIFC employment laws requires the exemption of certain types of employees/Shutterstock

by Kudakwashe Muzoriwa

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has amendment employment laws to introduce the new Qualifying Scheme workplace savings plan in the financial hub, replacing the current end-of-service gratuity payment regime that has been in place since 2004.

Enacted by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, the new regime comes to effect on 1 February 2020, from which employers will make mandatory monthly contributions to a professionally managed and regulated savings plan.

DIFC Authority’s Board of Directors also issued new employment regulations that set out the requirements for Qualifying Schemes. Employers have until 31 March 2020 to enrol into a Qualifying Scheme. 

The requirements for Qualifying Schemes include having an oversight body that will have the right to appoint and remove the scheme operator, review its governance and fees and charges imposed on the scheme.

HE Essa Kazim, the Governor of DIFC, said, “With a firm commitment to creating a prosperous hub for our 24,000 professionals based at the DIFC, these comprehensive enhancements to DIFC Employment Law will give clear guidance to employers and employees seeking to grow their savings securely while fortifying both their interests.”

Other changes to DIFC the employment laws include allowing employees to make voluntary workplace savings contributions into a Qualifying Scheme, ensuring that any accrued end-of-service benefits under the current regime remain in place as well as providing employers with the option to pay these accrued benefits into a Qualifying Scheme.

 Similarly, the amended DIFC employment laws requires the exemption of certain types of employees, such as those on secondment in the DIFC, short-term workers, equity partners and employees working for government departments and bodies that have a presence in the DIFC.


RELATED STORIES: DIFC Qualifying Scheme HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum





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