DIFC enacts new 'Employment Law' issued by Dubai Ruler

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued a new Employment Law for the Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC.

The newly-enacted Law No. 02 of 2019 compliments the DIFC’s commitment to international best practice, addressing key issues such as paternity leave, sick pay and end-of-service settlements.

Commenting on the announcement, Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, "The DIFC Employment Law enhancements are integral to creating an attractive environment for the almost 24,000-strong workforce based in the DIFC to thrive, while protecting and balancing the interests of both employers and employees."

The new Employment Law, which will come into effect on 28th August 2019, clarifies the application of DIFC’s employment regime to employers and employees, including seconded, part-time and short-term employees. The law centres around the necessity to balance the needs of employers and employees in the DIFC while maintaining a robust framework of employment standards that contribute to the success of the Centre.

Employer-focused provisions include expansion of employee duties, reduction of the statutory sick pay, limiting the application of mandatory late penalty payments for end-of-service settlements and recognising settlement agreements between employers and employees. Employee-focussed provisions include the introduction of five days of paternity leave and penalties for discrimination. Penalties have also been introduced to ensure adherence to basic conditions of employment, visa and residency sponsorship.

The new law was subject to substantial research and global benchmarking, as well as thorough public consultation, which helped shape the law to ensure that the DIFC remains the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.

DIFC noted that the new Insolvency Law and Regulations, which was published and announced on Tuesday, will come into effect on 13th June 2019.

Dubai International Financial Centre enacts new Insolvency Law

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, and Prime Minister, enacted a new DIFC Insolvency Law, Law No. 01 of 2019, the Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, has announced.

The newly-enacted law compliments the DIFC’s commitment to international best practice, with the Insolvency Law aiming to balance the needs of all stakeholders in the context of distressed and bankruptcy related situations in DIFC, facilitating a more efficient and effective bankruptcy restructuring regime.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: "Ensuring that businesses and investors can operate across the region with confidence is crucial to our role in connecting the economies of East and West.

We are committed to continuously enhancing our legislative infrastructure in order to give leading global institutions the certainty and access they need to capture the opportunities within the MEASA region, through Dubai."

The new Insolvency Law and Regulations, which will come into effect on 28th August, 2019, introduces a new debtor in possession bankruptcy regime in line with best practice globally which will also place the DIFC at the forefront of complicated debt restructurings.

The law also provides for a new administration process where there is evidence of mismanagement or misconduct. The law also enhances the rules governing winding up procedures; and incorporates the UNCITRAL Model Law on cross border insolvency proceedings with certain modifications for application in the Centre.

The new law was subject to substantial research and global benchmarking, as well as thorough public consultation, which helped shape the law to ensure that the DIFC remains the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.

The new law can be viewed at: www.difc.ae

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