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Updated March 2024

The main goal of infrastructure investment and labor laws in the UAE is to support the nation’s citizens and protect employees’ rights. Consequently, the government introduced a mandatory insurance scheme to provide coverage against job loss for eligible employees. This unemployment insurance scheme is the UAE’s latest initiative aimed at ensuring financial stability and well-being for employed individuals in the country.

Read on this Wego article to learn everything you need to know about the unemployment insurance program.

Unemployment insurance in UAE latest news & updates 2024

So far, 7 million workers have enrolled in the unemployment insurance program, representing 98.8% of the workforce. MoHRE has issued a warning stating that failure to enroll may lead to issues with work visas. It’s strongly recommended for expatriates to adhere to the new policy to avoid potential revocation of their work visas.

The deadline for mandatory enrollment in the unemployment insurance program was 01 October 2023. Employees who haven’t yet purchased their insurance can still obtain coverage by paying a fine of AED 400. Eligible employees can verify if the fine has been imposed on them by visiting MoHRE’s website, mobile application, or business service center.

The mandatory unemployment insurance scheme of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) encompasses all employees nationwide, including those working for free zone companies. However, certain exceptions exist, which will be outlined in the subsequent section of this article.

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Unemployment insurance in UAE

The new unemployment insurance plan offers fixed cash compensation for up to 3 months starting from day one of unemployment. It pays 60% of the basic income with a maximum monthly payment of AED 20,000 (USD 5,445). Non-subscribers of this insurance will be charged AED 400, and an additional AED 200 will be charged to those who fail to pay within 3 months of the due date.

However, there are certain categories exempt from the unemployment insurance scheme in the UAE as follows:

•    investors, that is, the owners of companies they invest in
•    domestic helpers
•    temporary contract workers
•    juveniles under the age of 18
•    retirees entitled to pension and have joined a new job

Unemployment insurance in UAE free zone

Certain designated free zones, such as the Dubai International Financial Center and the Abu Dhabi Global Market, have provided clarity regarding the necessity for employees working in companies within these zones to enroll in the unemployment insurance program.

While it is not obligatory for such employees to register and join the scheme, they do retain the option to do so. Some individuals may decide against enrolling due to associated fees or if their departure from the country occurs before they become eligible for scheme benefits, which are exclusively available after a year of enrollment.

This clarification has been issued subsequent to uncertainties arising over whether subscription to the program was mandated at a federal level within these specified regions.

Unemployment insurance in UAE eligibility

The UAE’s unemployment insurance is available to anyone who has been recently unemployed, except for investors, domestic helpers, part-time employees, workers under 18, retirees who receive a pension and have taken up new work, and those fired for misconduct. The scheme provides cash compensation for up to three months for each claim, but eligibility requires meeting ten criteria outlined by the official Involuntary Loss of Employment Scheme.

To be eligible for unemployment insurance in the UAE, the insured must meet the following criteria:

  • minimum subscription period of 12 consecutive months
  • no interruption in subscription for 3 consecutive months
  • timely payment of all insurance premiums
  • proof that unemployment was not due to resignation
  • no dismissal for disciplinary reasons under applicable labor laws
  • claim submission within 30 days of loss of work relationship or settlement of labor complaint
  • no existing complaint related to absence from work
  • no fraud or deceit involved in the claim
  • loss of employment not due to non-peaceful labor strikes or stoppages
  • legal presence in the UAE

The following circumstances are excluded from eligibility for unemployment insurance under the scheme:

  • loss of employment due to war, riot, insurrection, armed rebellion, invasion, or civil disorder
  • loss of employment due to discharge of pollutants or effects of nuclear equipment
  • loss of employment due to biological or chemical pollution resulting from terrorism
  • loss of employment due to direct government action leading to employer insolvency
  • loss of employment due to force majeure as defined by the Civil Transactions Law of the UAE No. (5) of 1985.

Unemployment insurance categories

The Unemployment Insurance Scheme encompasses employees from both the federal government and private sectors, distinguished into two categories based on their basic salary.

Category 1

  • applicable to individuals earning a basic salary of AED 16,000 or less
  • entails a maximum monthly compensation of AED 10,000
  • employees falling within this category are required to pay an annual subscription fee of AED 60.

Category 2

  • applicable to those with a basic salary exceeding AED 16,000
  • entitling them to a maximum monthly compensation of AED 20,000
  • the corresponding annual subscription fee for Category 2 employees is AED 120

Unemployment insurance in UAE application

To apply for job loss insurance in the UAE, employees can contact one of the firms in the country to purchase the policy and make the payment for the insurance premium.

The scheme is offered by the Dubai Insurance Company, which is the representative of an insurance pool consisting of nine companies listed below:

  • Dubai Insurance Company
  • Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company
  • Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company
  • Emirates Insurance Company
  • National General Insurance Company
  • Orient Insurance
  • Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company
  • Oman Insurance Company
  • Orient UNB Takaful Company

Employees can subscribe to the insurance program in various ways, including through:

  • Insurance pool’s website ( and smart application
  • Bank ATMs and kiosk machines
  • Business service centres
  • Money exchange companies
  • du and Etisalat
  • SMS

What is the price for the insurance?

The insurance scheme is divided into two categories based on monthly income:

  • those earning less than AED 16,000 per month pay a monthly premium of AED 5 (or AED 60 annually)
  • those earning more than AED 16,000 per month pay a monthly premium of AED 10 (or AED 120 annually)

Compensation is calculated at 60% of the base salary, with a maximum monthly compensation of AED 10,000 for the first category and AED 20,000 for the second. Payments can be received monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually and are subject to value-added tax (VAT).

Unemployment insurance in UAE claim

The terminated employee must have been insured for a minimum of 12 consecutive months in order to be eligible for reimbursement, starting from the day they initially signed up for the plan.

How is the claim calculated?

Under the scheme, the monthly compensation is 60% of the average salary over the 12 months preceding job loss. Maximum compensation for one claim is three consecutive months, and the maximum period of benefits is 12 monthly benefits throughout the insured’s work life in the UAE (regardless of the number of claims submitted).

How do I receive unemployment compensation?

Insured employees who become unemployed must file a claim within 30 days of their job loss through one of the three authorized claim channels: the insurance pool’s e-portal, smart application, or contact center.

Compensation for a claim shall not exceed three months and will be given within two weeks after the claim date.

Unemployment insurance in UAE payment

Through the ILOE website

  • visit and on the homepage, click on the red button ‘Subscribe Here’.
  • next, you will receive a pop-up notification, click on the ‘Subscribe Here’ button.
  • you will then be transferred to the ILOE login page. Click on the first option – ‘Individual’.
  • select the sector you work under – private, federal, non-registered in MOHRE (free zone).
  • enter your Emirates ID number or Unified Number and mobile number.
  • click ‘Request OTP’.
  • enter the OTP sent to you via SMS and click ‘Submit’.
  • next, you will be transferred to your personal dashboard on the ILOE website. You will be able to see details such as your Insurance number, the starting and expiry date of your policy, the insurance category, and when your last instalment was made.
  • to the right of your screen, you will see a breakdown of the payment you have already made, and the instalment that is due. Click on the ‘Pay Now’ button.
  • you will be directed to a separate payment channel. Enter your credit or debit card details.
  • click on the ‘Pay’ button.
  • after a few seconds, you will be redirected to the ILOE website and receive a notification informing you that the payment was successful.

Through the ILOE app

  • download the ‘ILOE’ app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App store.
  • open the app, and select the ‘login with an OTP’ option.
  • select the sector you work under – private, federal, non-registered in MOHRE (free zone).
  • enter your Emirates ID number and mobile number.
  • tap on ‘Request an OTP’ and enter the OTP you receive via SMS.
  • tap ‘Submit’.
  • next, you will be transferred to your personal dashboard.
  • on the dashboard, you will be able to see the instalment dates and when the next payment was due. Under it, click on the ‘Pay Now’ button.
  • next, you will be directed to a separate payment channel. Enter you credit or debit card details.
  • once that is entered, tap on the ‘Pay’ button.

After a few seconds you will be redirected to the ILOE app and receive a notification informing you that the payment was successful.

You will also receive an email on your registered email address from ILOE informing you that the payment was successful with an attachment of the receipt.

Through the ILOE call centre

  • call the official contact centre – 600 599 555.
  • select your language option.
  • next, press 1 for ‘Inquiries’. Then, press 2 for payment and subscription, and press 3 to talk to an agent.
  • inform the call centre agent that you want to pay the instalments.
  • they will ask you to provide your Emirates ID number, your name as per your Emirates ID and the email address registered with the ILOE scheme.
  • once that is done, you will be sent an email from ILOE with a payment link.
  • click on the ‘Pay Now’ button in the email.
  • next, you will be directed to a separate payment channel. Enter you credit or debit card details.
  • once that is entered, tap on the ‘Pay’ button.


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