March 2, 2024

Dubai International Financial Centre Announces Proposed Amendments to Select Laws

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 6 March 2021:Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has proposed the enactment of amendments to the Employment Law, Data Protection Law and Insolvency Regulations to enhance the regulatory framework in DIFC, keeping it in line with international best practice.

Amendments to the Employment Law & Regulations

DIFC intends to make amendments to the existing Employment Law No. 2 of 2019 and issue new Employment Regulations which will provide further clarity in relation to the Qualifying Scheme regime and bring it in line with DFSA’s Employee Money Purchase Scheme so that only a single layer of regulation is applied to these schemes. The Amendments also address other areas of uncertainty in the law by clarifying the application of limitations periods to claims made under the Employment Law, the accrual of vacation leave, the duration of the probationary period for short term fixed-term contracts, and certain defined terms used in the law.

Amendments are also proposed to the basic workplace health and safety requirements under the Employment Law, to account for working from home arrangements which have become more common.

Consultation Paper No. 2 of 2021 – Proposed Amendments to DIFC Legislation

DIFC intends to make amendments to the existing Data Protection Law No. 5 of 2020to clarify the process for judicial redress for individuals so that they more closely align with international best practice and rulings in Europe regarding data subjects’ rights. It also sets out better accountability requirements for Controllers and Processors where individuals’ rights may be impacted, from vexatious or repetitive requests for access to data. Additionally, the amendments will refine the powers of the Commissioner regarding available information when rendering a direction or determination of contravention of the Data Protection Law and align with the intention of DIFC Courts Law regarding the imposition and payment of court costs by DIFC Bodies.

Finally, DIFC also intends to make amendments to the Insolvency Law No. 1 of 2019 and Insolvency Regulations 2020 to provide greater flexibility in relation to the requirement to obtain a bond under the Insolvency Law and Regulations. The amendments will ensure consistency in liquidator’s reporting obligations for the different types of liquidation procedures available under the Insolvency Law and ensure that that the vesting of property in a dissolved entity is consistently applied for all DIFC entities under the Operating Law 2018.

The above legislative proposals have been posted for a 30-day public consultation period with the deadline for providing comments ending on 28 March 2021.

The proposed amendments reflect the Centre’s commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

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