International Law at Work — February 2014: UAE employment law update

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In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there are two separate jurisdictions that need to be considered, being: (a) the UAE, where employment is regulated by the Federal Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 as amended (the ‘UAE Labour Law’); and (b) the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), where the DIFC Employment Law No. 4 of 2005 as amended (the ‘DIFC Employment Law’) applies. The main difference between these two jurisdictions is that the UAE has a civil-law-based legal system and the DIFC has a common-law-based legal system. This update will focus on some recent developments in both jurisdictions.

One of the new developments in Dubai that has been implemented from January 2014 is the new Dubai Law No. 11 of 2013 (the ‘Dubai Health Insurance Law’).

The Dubai Health Insurance Law provides that employers are now obligated to provide basic health insurance cover to their employees, to bear the cost of such insurance and to ensure that they are covered for the duration of their employment. An executive resolution expressly setting out what would constitute basic health insurance has not yet been issued; however, officials of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have suggested that basic insurance cover should, at minimum, cover visits to a general practitioner, referrals to specialists, surgical procedures, tests and investigations, maternity and emergency treatments up to a minimum insured amount of AED150,000 (£24,500)…

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