February 24, 2024


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Amendments to the DIFC Employment Law

In February 2021, the DIFC Authority announced a session period of time on the DIFC Work Legislation (DIFC Regulation No. 2 of 2019 as amended by DIFC Legislation No. 4 of 2020). The session paper came one particular year following the novel amendments to the DIFC Employment Regulation, offering an option for clarification and tackle places of uncertainty.  These amendments are reflected inside the DIFC Law No.4 of 2021 (the New Regulation) efficient as of September 2021.  In addition, amendments were being also produced to the Work Regulations governing Qualifying Schemes (the New Regulations).

The New Legislation and the New Regulations were being powerful promptly and summarized as follows:

Further Payments

Importantly, the definition of “Additional Payments” has now been narrowed to give a criteria for which a payment can tumble underneath the statutory definition.  An Additional Payment may well only be one particular which is a discretionary and non-recurring payment or a single which is calculated by way of profits from the employer or an affiliate. An More Payment could then be excluded from the calculation of the DEWS contributions. Any reference to an settlement concerning the employer and worker to restrict an employee’s every month essential wage will be null and void.

Brief-phrase Staff

The New Law presents clarification for fixed time period workforce as very well as secondees.  Fastened term staff are now safeguarded whereby the duration of the probationary period could not exceed fifty percent of the contractual phrase. In addition, various fixed time period contracts shall be treated in aggregate when pinpointing an employee’s time period of work and calculating the employee’s authorized entitlements.  The New Law extends safeguards to secondees and shorter-expression staff providing them with security from discrimination and harassment.  In addition, secondees shall be subject matter to statutory obligations beneath the New Law which include settlement agreements and the employer’s confidential info.

Annual Depart

Companies and workers can concur an amount of money of accrued yearly go away to be carried around, provided that this is not significantly less than 5 days’ once-a-year go away which is the statutory minimum amount.

Wellness and Protection

Clarification has been supplied to employers the place workforce are working from household. Companies are needed to give education, as reasonably practicable, to staff members on health and fitness and basic safety although working remotely. However, businesses are exempt from utilizing and ensuring wellbeing and basic safety systems are in put within the employee’s property.


The introduction of a limitation interval of 6 months for a assert to be introduced stays in location. Nevertheless, clarification has been manufactured to validate that an staff may well carry a assert all through the phrase of their employment. In addition, a claim may encompass a two-12 months retrospective time period and that all claims ought to be introduced inside of six months of its alleged event, apart from for statements relating to unique payments.

Qualifying Techniques

A Qualifying Plan, its trustee and the administrator will have to be set up in the DIFC and therefore controlled by the DFSA, other than where by 1) the “employer is less than a statutory duty in yet another nation to make pension…” or 2) the employer is making payments into a Team Scheme on behalf of the employees.  Importantly, these payments need to be equivalent, or in excessive, to the contributions based mostly on the Core Benefits payable beneath the New Law.


The improvements to the DIFC Employment Regulation introduce measures to restrict any probable abuse to the initial intention of the law.  Companies and staff members need to be aware of these improvements and how they might influence their work contracts, policies and handbooks.  You should enable us know if we can support you with the implementation of these changes.

For more info in relation to the amendments to the DIFC Employment Law, please call Joanna Stewart ([email protected])

November 2021