Amendments to the DIFC Employment Law

In February 2021, the DIFC Authority introduced a consultation period of time on the DIFC Employment Law (DIFC Legislation No. 2 of 2019 as amended by DIFC Law No. 4 of 2020). The session paper came one particular 12 months immediately after the novel amendments to the DIFC Employment Legislation, giving an prospect for clarification and handle regions of uncertainty.  These amendments are reflected within the DIFC Law No.4 of 2021 (the New Regulation) productive as of September 2021.  In addition, amendments have been also created to the Work Rules governing Qualifying Schemes (the New Rules).

The New Legislation and the New Laws were being powerful straight away and summarized as follows:

Additional Payments

Importantly, the definition of “Additional Payments” has now been narrowed to give a criteria for which a payment can slide underneath the statutory definition.  An More Payment could only be one which is a discretionary and non-recurring payment or 1 which is calculated by way of earnings from the employer or an affiliate. An More Payment may possibly then be excluded from the calculation of the DEWS contributions. Any reference to an settlement involving the employer and personnel to limit an employee’s regular standard wage will be null and void.

Shorter-term Staff members

The New Legislation provides clarification for preset time period staff members as well as secondees.  Fastened expression employees are now safeguarded whereby the duration of the probationary time period could not exceed half of the contractual term. In addition, multiple preset phrase contracts shall be taken care of in combination when pinpointing an employee’s period of work and calculating the employee’s authorized entitlements.  The New Regulation extends safeguards to secondees and brief-time period workers furnishing them with protection from discrimination and harassment.  In addition, secondees shall be issue to statutory obligations underneath the New Regulation like settlement agreements and the employer’s confidential information.

Once-a-year Go away

Employers and staff members can agree an amount of money of accrued once-a-year depart to be carried about, offered that this is not a lot less than five days’ yearly leave which is the statutory minimal.

Well being and Safety

Clarification has been supplied to employers exactly where employees are doing the job from home. Companies are required to give teaching, as reasonably practicable, to employees on overall health and protection while functioning remotely. Even so, businesses are exempt from implementing and guaranteeing health and basic safety methods are in spot in just the employee’s household.

Limitation

The introduction of a limitation period of time of 6 months for a assert to be brought continues to be in place. Even so, clarification has been made to validate that an worker could convey a declare throughout the term of their employment. In addition, a declare could encompass a two-year retrospective period of time and that all statements need to be brought within just six months of its alleged incidence, apart from for claims relating to certain payments.

Qualifying Schemes

A Qualifying Scheme, its trustee and the administrator must be recognized in the DIFC and for that reason regulated by the DFSA, other than exactly where 1) the “employer is underneath a statutory responsibility in another region to make pension…” or 2) the employer is generating payments into a Group Scheme on behalf of the workers.  Importantly, these payments should be comparable, or in extra, to the contributions centered on the Main Added benefits payable beneath the New Regulation.

Summary 

The modifications to the DIFC Employment Law introduce measures to restrict any prospective abuse to the initial intention of the regulation.  Employers and employees need to be aware of these adjustments and how they may effect their employment contracts, guidelines and handbooks.  Remember to permit us know if we can assist you with the implementation of these changes.

For even more information and facts in relation to the amendments to the DIFC Work Regulation, make sure you speak to Joanna Stewart ([email protected])

November 2021