In line with the sweeping changes made by the UAE Government in Oct 2018, Jafza adopted the most important change made to the visa and immigration rules. The significant change is the launch of an insurance scheme to replace the Bank Guarantee system. This is aimed at securing workers’ rights in the Free Zone and reducing the financial burden on employers whereby, employers will no longer be required to deposit the guarantee amount which equals to one and half month’s basic salary plus an airfare ticket for each employee.
Who is covered and what does the coverage incept?
- This protection programme is to cover all employees for all Jafza employers; provided the specific employers have not been in default of its obligations towards its employees for the past 18 months;
- New employees shall be protected by this insurance from the time they get their work visa stamped until its expiration + two months (being a maximum of 38 months);
- Full insurance amount will be required regardless of visa type;
- Current employees will be covered from when they renew their work visas.
An employee is eligible to be covered under the Insurance programme if:
- It has a valid work permit issued for the duration of the policy period;
- During the twelve-month period prior to the commencement of the policy, neither the employee nor its employer should not have any accumulated financial claims.
An employer is eligible to be part of the programme if:
- It has not defaulted on its obligations towards its Employees for the 18 months prior to the commencement of the programme;
- Upon enrolling in the Insurance programme, if the employer is found to be in default of its obligations towards its employees for three consecutive months, the employer shall be required to revert to Bank Guarantees as opposed to being part of the Insurance Programme for any new visas issued or any new renewals.
The employer shall only be permitted to reapply for the Insurance programme after it is found to not be in default of its obligations for six consecutive months from the date on which the default was identified.
For the purpose of this programme, “default” means an employer failing to abide by any of the following in the Insurance programme:
- To comply with the Wage Protection System
- To provide for an allowance for annual tickets, where applicable
- To provide end of service compensation, which includes gratuity and any other payments that the employee may be entitled to
- Repatriation costs for the employee or its mortal remains
Previously deposited funds
Going forward, Bank Guarantees previously deposited by Jafza companies will be transferred to their online portal.
The cost is very reasonable and based on different salary intervals.