With the Global Pandemic still ongoing, it has resulted in the loss of many businesses and thus, many people losing their jobs by being made redundant or taking unpaid leave as businesses try to cope with the economic downturn. It is a difficult and uncertain time for many. When such events take place in our lives, knowing your situation and your rights is crucial to formulating a plan.
One of the most pressing questions when a world pandemic hits is will I still have health insurance after being made redundant? Especially when going back to your home country may not be an option at the moment with some countries still in lockdown or experiencing a high number of cases. We can all take comfort in that we are not alone in this battle and the UAE has introduced some new regulations to aid in protecting those experiencing such turbulences.
Ministerial resolution No. 279 which is effective as of 26 March 2020, aims to do just that.
It introduced the concept of ‘redundancy’ into the UAE Labour Law for the first time. So that when an employer has identified a surplus of expatriate staff whose employment will be terminated, Resolution 279 requires the employer to continue to provide the former employee with all of their entitlements with the exception of basic salary. These entitlements include housing, transport, private medical insurance and other allowances and they must be provided until such time that the employee secures alternative employment or leaves the UAE. So that means if officially you are made redundant your health insurance should still be there.
FurthermoreIf your employer has requested that you take unpaid leave, your health insurance should still be provided and should not be affected by this request in any manner.
Keep in mind that your consent is required for any of the changes mentioned above to your employment contract and don’t be hesitant to ask about what your entitlements are.