Dubai companies must provide health cover to staff by end of October

Hundreds of companies in Dubai must provide health cover for staff by the end of this month. ?The first phase of the mandatory health insurance scheme will affect the 200 or so companies in Dubai?s mainland and freezone that have more than 1,000 employees, said?Dr Haider Al Yousuf, director of health funding at the Dubai Health Authority.All companies of this size?have been told that they must provide health cover for staff before the end of October.

In phase two, companies with 100 to 999 employees will have until the end of July next year to comply. Companies with fewer than 100 workers have until the end of June 2016 to provide cover.The Dubai scheme is based on the Abu Dhabi model, the only other emirate to have mandatory health insurance, as well as international best practice.

According to the law, companies are required only to cover the cost of health insurance for their employees and not the employees? dependants. The cost of health coverage for the workers? families will be borne by the worker.The government will be responsible for providing health insurance for Emiratis.Employers who fail to provide health insurance face fines between Dh500 and Dh150,000.Repeated breaches carry a maximum fine of Dh500,000.