Exchange offices see long lines as workers queue to sign up for the insurance plan
Workers queue at an exchange office in Ansar Mall, Al Nahda. — Photo by SM Ayaz Zakir
Several people queued outside exchange offices on Saturday, on the eve of the deadline to register for the UAE’s mandatory job loss insurance scheme.
For example, this was the scene outside the Al Ansari Exchange House in the Rolla area of Sharjah. Al Ansari Exchange is among the various platforms where employees can subscribe to the insurance plan.
Employees rush to Rolla’s Al Ansari Exchange to register for the job loss insurance scheme on Saturday. — Photo by a KT reader
Similar lines outside exchanges were also reported in other parts of the country. The queues were so long that some workers were unable to complete their registration process, Khaleej Times learned.
Bilal Ahmed, a cleaner in Sharjah, breathed a sigh of relief after successfully registering at Al Ansari Exchange in Al Nahda. “I was in the frame of mind that the deadline was until the end of October. I had to wait almost an hour in line to register for involuntary employment loss insurance,” Ahmed said.
When Bilal finished registering, he informed many of his friends and colleagues to subscribe to the insurance.
The scheme is an easy, low-cost way for employees to have financial support for a specified period in the event of job loss. Those who have not registered for the involuntary loss of employment (ILOE) scheme from October 1 will face a fine of Dh400.
Some residents said they were unaware of the deadline. However, authorities have issued several reminders that it is the responsibility of employees to obtain insurance and not employers.
Khalil, an expatriate worker from Pakistan, said he only found out about the deadline at 4pm on Saturday (September 30). He said: “For me, the end of the month is always a very busy day because we have to carry out maintenance work on some flats. My colleague who was with me decided to check in online after work. However, we did not have the knowledge to transact online. After our work, we ran to the exchange at two places in Sharjah and found it to be very crowded. We finally headed to Sharjah city center and checked in after waiting in line for about 45 minutes.”