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DEWS stands for the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings Plan. The plan was introduced in February 2020 in line with changes in the DIFC employment law. Those changes meant that employers needed to move their End of Service Gratuity liability management from a defined benefit structure to a funded, professionally managed defined contribution plan. DEWS is the DIFC’s default plan and was chosen after many years of consideration by working groups to transform and reform the way end-of-service benefits (EOSB) were managed and to drive a culture of long-term savings that is aligned to global best practices. It is also thought that a plan, such as DEWS, will become a key factor for retaining and attracting talent in the future.

There are several levels of oversight and governance for the DEWS plan. All parties to the plan (Trustee, Administrator, and Investment Advisor) are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

The Trustee oversees the plan and ensures that it is operating in accordance with the Scheme documentation (Trust Deed and Scheme Rules).

In addition, there is also a Supervisory Board that has been established to oversee and review the governance and non-regulated duties of the Trustee. The Board meets on a quarterly basis.

The DIFC Supervisory Board is a statutory corporation established by the President of the DIFC that is designed to oversee the operation of the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) Plan.

What are the responsibilities of the DIFC Supervisory Board?

At the outset the role of the Supervisory Board was to oversee the establishment of the DEWS Plan and the appointment of the trustee. Now the Plan is up and running, the DEWS Supervisory Board oversee the governance and commercial aspects of the DEWS Plan that are not subject to regulatory supervision. This includes overseeing the governance and non-regulated duties of Equiom, the trustee, in accordance with the Trusteeship Agreement in place.

Who are the DIFC Supervisory Board Members?

The first DEWS Supervisory Board members are:\ Hamed Kazim, as the Independent Chair Jacques Visser and Madeya AlKtebi, as DIFC Authority (DIFCA) Representatives Thenji Moyo, as the Employee Representative; and Gordon Barr, as the Employer Representative.

How were the Employer and Employee Representatives selected?

The DIFC Authority (DIFCA) invited nominations from the DIFC community for these positions. As part of the nomination process for both employee and employer representatives, DIFCA received more than 200 nominations which were then narrowed down to a shortlist of 21 highly qualified and experienced individuals. The final shortlist was then voted on by the DIFC community, which ultimately led to the final selection and appointment of the Board Members.

What is the role of the Employer and Employee Representative?

Their role is to ensure that Employees and Employers voices are heard and taken into consideration when the Supervisory Board undertakes its role in respect of the governance and oversight around the non-regulatory aspects of the DEWS Plan. How can I contact my Employer/Employee Representative? Thenji Moyo, Employee Representative, can be contacted by Gordon Barr, Employer Representative, can be contacted by

It was crucial for DIFC that the providers selected to manage the DEWS scheme demonstrated outstanding capabilities, a well-tested track record and alignment with international best practices. The process of vendor selection was thorough, and their selection was made after a formal and competitive RFP process. The providers are:

Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited DIFC Branch the plan Operator/Master Trustee

Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East) Limited the plan Administrator

Mercer Financial Services Middle East Limited the plan Investment Advisor