DIFC Issues Amendments to the Employment Law and new Employment Regulations for Public Consultation

Legislative amendments made in relation to the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Scheme

Dubai, UAE: 17 October 2019 – Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has today proposed amendments to the Employment Law regime, in relation to its proposed DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (“DEWS”) plan. According to the legislative proposal, all employers based in the Centre will be required to pay mandatory contributions into the DEWS scheme or into an alternative qualifying scheme (“Qualifying Scheme”).  The amendments to the existing Employment Law and newly proposed Employment Regulations will account for participation into any qualifying scheme, including DEWS.

The proposed legislation sets out the requirements for Qualifying Schemes that will require employers to make mandatory contributions towards employees’ end-of-service benefits and which will also allow DIFC employees to add their own savings as voluntary contributions.

Key changes include:

(a) clarifying in the Employment Law that existing DIFC employees continue to have a right to gratuity payments that accrued prior to the introduction of the new regime;

(b) employers being obliged to fund the end-of-service benefits from the commencement date of the new regime into a DEWS or another Qualifying Scheme going forward on a monthly basis;

(c) new Employment Regulations stating the mandatory requirements for a Qualifying Scheme; and

(d) a number of miscellaneous enhancements.

The proposed DIFC Employment Law has been posted for a 30-day public consultation period with the deadline for providing comments ending on 18 November 2019.

The Consultation Papers can be accessed by visiting: www.difc.ae/business/laws-regulations/consultation-papers

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