No Insurance? No Visa. Dubai's New Rules
Posted by Dannielle Noonan
Uninsured staff cannot stay in the country
Dubai employers with more than 100 staff must provide them with health insurance before the end of the month (July 31st).
The rigid rules are being implemented in phases to give HR executives at companies with staff in Dubai time to prepare and July marks the start of the second crackdown. The initial stage came into effect on October 31, 2014, and it included all companies with more than 1,000 employees. Phase Three will be implemented next year; by June 30, 2016, companies with less than 100 employees will also fall under the law.
While many companies have already acted, now is the time to make sure your staff in Dubai have compliant health cover. On Tuesday, the Dubai Health Authority announced that no visas will be issued or renewed for workers whose employers have not paid for their insurance.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has partnered with General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to ensure companies comply with the new laws.
As an employer, you have both a legal and moral responsibility to look after your workforce’s health.
Employers have to provide a basic health coverage with an annual premium anywhere between Dh500-Dh700 and a maximum insurance cover per person per annum of Dh150, 000.
Failure to comply can lead to fines of between Dh500 and Dh150, 000, and Dh500, 000 for repeat offences.
The law states companies are required only to cover the cost of insurance for employees, not workers’ dependants. If you are working in Dubai and have a ‘trailing spouse’, children or maids and they are not covered by your employer, it’s wise to purchase an international health plan to cover them before July 2016.
The mandatory insurance programme came into effect in February last year to give universal access to health care to workers. The overall aim is to create a healthier, safer climate for expatriates, locals and visitors to Dubai as it evolves into an economic hub. The new laws are a positive development for professionals on international assignments in the Emirate.
Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the board of the DHA, said: "We are pleased to see that a lot of companies have already complied ahead of the timeline and we encourage all those who have not to do before the deadline. We anticipate that in phase two 600,000 people will be insured.
"At the time that the law was introduced in November 2013, the insured population in Dubai was 1.1 million. Since the phased introduction, until now, an additional 1.2 million people are insured, bringing the total insured population in Dubai to 2.3 million.”
No health insurance means no visa or visa renewal. Act now.
Medibroker specialise in finding compliant health plans for corporations looking to cover their workforce in Dubai. We find the best plan on the market for your staff and our service is completely free.