Question: I am an employee of a firm in Dubai and have been told that I am eligible for the Golden Visa. Would I need a labour card to continue working at my firm? Will the firm continue giving me health insurance?
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Answer: Pursuant to your queries, we assume that you are employed by a mainland firm in Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 Regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (Employment Law) and the provisions of Law No. 11 of 2013 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai (Dubai Health Insurance Law) shall be applicable.
The UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 allows a foreign national to obtain long-term residency visa (Golden Visa) in the UAE. We assume that you are eligible for it based on your profession. It should be noted that the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) issued a statement on July 1, 2021, confirming that private sector employees who are eligible for the Golden Visa need to have a work permit. The provisions of the Employment Law are applicable to such employees.
An employee holding a Golden Visa needs to have a work permit from the MOHRE to be employed by a private firm or entity. It is the responsibility of an employer to provide health insurance to its employees in Dubai. 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 health insurance policy applicable.
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.”
Further, Article 96 of the Employment Law states: “The employer must provide employees with means of medical care according to the standards decided by the MOHRE in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”
Therefore, based on these provisions, your employer must provide you with health insurance during the period of your employment. Article 23 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law states that if an employer fails to provide health insurance, the authority concerned or the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) may impose penalties ranging from Dh500 to Dh150,000. If the employer violates this law repeatedly, penalties may reach Dh500,000.
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: email@example.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.