Published: Mon Mar 18 2024, 9:53 PM

Last updated: Mon Mar 18 2024, 10:33 PM

Private sector employees and domestic workers will be covered under a mandatory health insurance scheme from next year, it was announced Monday. Employers will be required to pay for the health coverage of their registered workers while issuing or renewing their residency permits.

The decision will be enforced starting January 1, 2025.

This came as the UAE Cabinet approved the scheme for private sector employees and domestic workers who do not have an existing cover. Employers of domestic workers would need to foot the cost of their coverage.

Currently, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have laws that make it mandatory for employers to get health insurance for their employees. In the UAE Capital, the mandatory scheme covers employees and their families.

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The new UAE-wide scheme will ensure the country’s sizeable private sector workforce can access quality healthcare. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratesation (MoHRE) will roll out relevant awareness campaigns and programs to implement the scheme.

This is the second mandatory insurance rolled out for employees in the UAE. Last year, workers were required to subscribe to a scheme that protects them from job loss. To date, more than 7.2 million employees from private and federal government sectors are registered in the scheme.

As he chaired the Cabinet meeting, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, noted that 98.8 per cent of the workforce in the country is covered under the Workers’ Protection Programme. The scheme protects workers’ wages and other dues in case their employers declare bankruptcy.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “Today, we approved a new structure for the MoHRE, including establishing a coordinating council for the labor market in the UAE, to maintain its stability and enhance its competitiveness. The workforce is the real engine of the economy, and monitoring their concerns and protecting their rights are essential elements for advancing our national economy.”

Meanwhile, the UAE has approved extending the validity period of the Emirati passport from five to 10 years for Emiratis aged 21 and above.

The Cabinet also heard that the Digital Wellbeing Council shut down over 160,000 websites and social media accounts that targeted the youth by promoting substance abuse.

The council also blocked more than 2,700 websites that promoted illicit activities such as online scams, phishing, and unauthorized product promotions, among others.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the family serves as the strongest defense for the UAE’s children. It is crucial to instill awareness in new generations. “We emphasize the importance of cooperation among families, media, and schools to safeguard our children, who are the most valuable asset of our nation.”


UAE announces mandatory health insurance for private sector employees from 2025 – News

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