Reforming end-of-service indemnity for migrant workers in Member States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)

Policy options for the progressive realization of international social security standards

End-of-service indemnity EOSI benefits are the main social protection mechanisms available to migrant workers in Member States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) countries. EOSI systems for migrant workers are similar across the GCC region and comprise lump-sum gratuities paid when employment is terminated and calculated as a multiple of the final wage. They operate as employer-liability schemes, which mandate employers to finance the benefits to migrant workers upon termination of their employment contract, as established in labour legislation. National and non-national worker are effectively subject to two distinct social protection systems. While migrant workers are legally excluded from national social insurance laws, the EOSI system provides an inferior form of protection.

This paper analyses EOSI schemes in the GCC countries and proposes policy reform solutions in line with core principles enshrined in international social security standards. It aims at informing dialogue around the limitations of current EOSI schemes, and involving workers, employers and governments in the GCC in the identification of appropriate policy options for reforms at national and regional level.