In context of the current COVID-19 developments, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has extended the enrolment and contribution dates for its new Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) plan, which went into effect on 1 February to replace the end-of-service gratuity with a defined contribution investment scheme.
DIFC-registered companies were originally required to enrol in the DEWS scheme by 31 March 2020, and employers were obliged to make their first contribution before 21 April 2020, covering both February and March payrolls. Following this, employers were required to make contribution payments before the 21st of each month.
Under the revised timeframes, the enrolment deadline has been extended from 31 March to 30 April, and the contribution deadline for the February and March payroll changed to 30 April. Following this, all future monthly contributions are still required before the 21st of the month following the payroll month, i.e. April contributions should be paid by 21 May, and so on.
To date, around 840, or 65%, of DIFC-registered organisations have enrolled into DEWS, which equates to almost 15,000 employees. In addition, more than 150 employers have commenced making contributions well ahead of the contribution deadline. The scheme requires employers to contribute an amount equal to 5.83% or 8.33% of an employee’s wage, depending on length of service, on a monthly basis to a trust-administered fund.
In response to COVID-19, DIFC said it is actively following the mandatory directives of the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention, the Dubai Health Authority and the guidelines issued by the other relevant government authorities and the WHO. It added that it is constantly monitoring the evolving situation and implementing every precautionary measure available to protect the health and safety of its employees, tenants and DIFC community at large.