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Should employers provide health insurance to self-sponsored residents?

Question: I work in a Dubai-based mainland company. For self-sponsored residencies like Golden and Green visa in Dubai, are companies liable to offer health insurance to those on the payroll? As far as companies are concerned, other than employees, what must they offer to employees on self-sponsored visas?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are holder of a Golden or Green visa residency in the UAE and as you are employed by a private mainland company. Hence, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Employment Law’), Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 Regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022’) and those of Law No. 11 of 2013 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Health Insurance Law’) are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer may obtain a work permit for an individual who is already holding a Golden Visa. This is in accordance with Article 6(1)(j) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states: “Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of the Employment Law, the types of work permits shall be determined as follows:

Golden visa holders permit: This type of permit is issued upon the request of an establishment registered with the Ministry that wishes to employ an employee holding a Golden Visa in the state.”

Further, an employer may also grant work permit for the residents who are holding a Green Visa.

In the UAE, it is the responsibility of the employer to grant health insurance facility to its employees. This is in accordance with Article 13 (8) & (9) of the Employment Law, which states: “The Employer shall:

8. Bear healthcare costs in accordance with the legislation in force in the UAE.

9. Bear the costs of insurances, contributions and securities specified by the legislation in force.”

The Dubai Health Insurance Law too stresses on the employer’s obligation to provide health insurance facility to the employees. This is in accordance with Article 10 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law, which states, “The employer shall be obliged to do the following:

1. Provide health insurance coverage for employees, in accordance with the applicable health insurance policy.

2. Bear the costs for such health insurance coverage rather than making the beneficiaries bear such costs.

3. Verify that the health insurance of the employees is valid for the length of their work period.

4. Bear the health services and medical intervention costs in emergencies for any of the employees, if any of them has no health insurance in accordance with the provisions of this law.

5. Give employees their health insurance cards.

6. Provide the health insurance policy upon the employees’ residence issuance or renewal.

7. Any other obligations specified by the authority pursuant to the resolutions issued.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, an employer should provide you with the health insurance facility.

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