From the mandatory Unemployment Insurance programme to a ban on single-use plastic bags, here are six changes coming into effect next year
21 December 2022| Last updated on 4 January 2023
There are some new changes that expats must know...
UAE officials have announced several new updates, mandatory changes, and laws which are set to take effect in 2023.
1. Mandatory UAE Job Loss Insurance
All full-time public and private sector employees in the UAE are required to subscribe to the mandatory Unemployment Insurance scheme from 2023, said ministry officials.
Residents who lose their jobs will be given monetary compensation every month for a maximum period of three months. The compensation will depend on the basic salary, with a maximum monthly amount of AED 10,000 given to employees who earned a basic salary below AED 16,000; and a maximum monthly amount of AED 20,000 for workers who had a basic salary above AED 16,000.
How much does the Unemployment Insurance cost?
Employees with a basic salary of AED 16,000 or less will pay a monthly insurance premium of AED 5 (AED 60 per year).
Workers who earn a basic salary of AED 16,000 and above will need to pay a monthly insurance premium of AED 10 (AED 120 per year).
Who are exempt from the insurance scheme?
The job loss insurance programme doesn't apply to investors, business owners, domestic workers, part-time employees, those under the age of 18, and those who have lost their jobs but have recently been recruited by a new employer.
How to apply for the UAE Unemployment Insurance?
To know more, we've compiled together a complete guide for you, available here.
2. New changes to the UAE's family law
Coming into effect from February 2023, the UAE government has made some reforms to the country's personal status law for non-Muslim marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. This will apply to both expats and UAE citizens.
New changes include raising the minimum age to marry to 21 years old and must fill out a declaration form, the removal of mandatory marriage councelling for divorcing couples, joint and equal child custody for the parents, updates to inheritance.
Previously, the changes were in Abu Dhabi, but from next year the reforms will be implemented across the country.
3. UAE public holidays in 2023
UAE residents will see several differences in the public holiday dates for 2023.
Ramadan will take place in March next year, with the Eid Al Fitr holidays expected to fall on Thursday, April 20 to Sunday April 23. Employees with Saturday-Sunday weekends can expect five long weekends in 2023 as well.
For the full list of confirmed and expected UAE public holidays next year, check out our guide.
4. UAE introduces Corporate Tax
Coming into effect from June 2023, the UAE's new Corporate Tax will apply to businesses with at least AED 375,000 profit per year - a 9% tax will be implemented.
What is exempt from the UAE's Corporate Tax?
The Corporate Tax will not apply to:
- Working residents' salaries
- Government entities' activities (with the exemption of business activities)
- Qualifying Free Zone businesses
- Investment funds
- Pension funds
- Public organisations
- Personal income from bank deposits
- Foreign exchange gains
- Savings programmes
For more information, please visit the UAE's official portal.
5. Mandatory 2% Emirati workers in private sector UAE companies
Private companies with more than 50 employees must achieve an Emiratisation target rate of 2% for skilled jobs.
Starting from January 2023, a penalty fine of AED 6,000 per month will be given to companies for every Emirati not hired.
Private sector companies that achieve Emiratisation targets will be entitled to incentives from the government, such as up to 80% discounts on Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MoHRE) fees.
6. Ban on single-use plastics
What comes as great news for the local environment, the emirates of Umm Al Quwain and Ajman will implement a ban on single-use plastics from January 2023. Starting from next year, stores and supermarkets must charge 25 fils per plastic bag for shoppers.
Currently, sales outlets in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi charge a mandatory 25 fils per single-use shopping bags, in an effort to reduce the use and wastage of plastic.