Wilson Varghese, General Manager & Director at Zurich International Life Middle East


“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s recent announcement of the new end-of-service benefits scheme represents a significant milestone which further bolsters the UAE’s position as a global talent hub, providing both employers and employees in the private sector and free zones with various workplace benefits. 

As the chosen administrator of the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) scheme, Zurich has been at the forefront of managing digital end-of-service benefits schemes. The journey began with the successful implementation of DEWS for DIFC in 2020, and later for the Dubai Government in 2022. 

This groundbreaking initiative signifies a transformation of the traditional gratuity into a modern, flexible, and employee-centric system, creating a win-win scenario for employers,  employees and the wider economy. Zurich’s extensive experience and track record in this transition are evident in the numbers, with over 1,800 DIFC companies, 65 Government entities, and 9 free zone authorities already enrolled, benefiting nearly 50,000 employees and disbursing over AED 250 million in end-of-service payments to employees. 

Typically, employees in the UAE receive gratuity benefits based on statutory minimums which are calculated and paid out when an employee resigns. These may or may not be regularly getting provisioned by the company. The DEWS scheme offers employers the ability to provision them monthly allowing them to better manage cash flows and provides employees trust and confidence in being able to receive their end-of-service benefits promptly. It also offers the flexibility to invest those benefits into funds based on their knowledge, understanding and risk appetite. There’s accessibility to information, transparency on the value of their benefits and digital solutions that empower employees to actively manage their end-of-service benefits. This empowers employees to take control of their financial future by offering a wide range of investment options, including Sharia-compliant funds, enabling additional savings towards their goals. It ensures transparency in gratuity benefits, provides protection for your money, offers a user-friendly app for easy access, and grants the flexibility to remain invested or withdraw fully or partially outside of the UAE, putting financial decisions firmly in the hands of employees. 

For employers, the benefits are equally substantial. By settling gratuity every month, cash flow management is significantly improved, as there are no unexpected lump-sum payouts or top-ups when employees leave service. This seamlessly aligns with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan’s vision of transforming the UAE into a talent hub, while simultaneously safeguarding employees’ rights, nurturing their financial well-being, and emphasizing the nation’s commitment to human capital development, as articulated in the “We The UAE 2031” plan. Employers who embrace this modern, flexible, and employee-centric system signal their dedication to employee well-being and financial security.”