1. Legal framework, state pensions and social security schemes
There is no applicable social security legislation for expatriate employees. However, UAE and other GCC nationals are entitled to participate in state pension and social security schemes. Upon commencement of employment, an employer should register the employment of UAE nationals (or that of other GCC nationalities – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman) with the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA). The GPSSA will confirm to the employer and the employee the contributions to be made into the scheme. As GCC countries operate reciprocal state pension arrangements, employers of GCC nationals in the UAE are required to make payments to the GPSSA in accordance with the employee’s home state pension laws. The GPSSA in turn passes these payments onto the employee’s home state pension authority.
In addition, employers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are subject to the Abu Dhabi Pensions Law, whereas employers in the rest of the UAE (including Dubai) are subject to the UAE Federal Pensions Law. These laws affect the required level of pension contributions, which vary depending on whether the employer is based in Abu Dhabi or one of the 6 other Emirates of the UAE. In Abu Dhabi, as a percentage of an employer’s monthly salary, the employer is required to contribute 15%, the employee 5% and the Government of Abu Dhabi a further 6%. These contributions are payable on salaries up to a maximum monthly salary of AED 60,000. Salary in excess of this level is counted towards a statutory end of service gratuity award in line with the Labour Law. In the rest of the UAE, the requirement is for employers to contribute 12.5%, the employee 5% and the UAE Federal Government a further 2.5%. The maximum salary level for pension contributions is AED 50,000 per month; salary in excess of this level is counted towards a statutory end of service gratuity award in line with the Labour Law.
2. Maternity Leave
The UAE Labour Law entitles a female employee to 45 days’ paid maternity leave if she has accrued 12 months continuous service. Such leave is paid at 50% of remuneration if the employee does not have the required service.
The DIFC Employment Law provides for 3 months maternity leave, 45 days’ paid on full pay and 45 days at half pay. A female employee may take time off for ante natal classes and has the right to return to work following maternity leave. A female employee adopting a baby under 3 months has the right to claim leave according to the same provisions as those for maternity leave.