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Labor curbs eased during pandemic may be reinstated

KUWAIT: The government is contemplating reversing decisions it made previously related to labor in Kuwait during the coronavirus pandemic. Official sources said a ministerial committee discussed the cancelled decisions and found that their approval was logical and needed. The decisions also agreed with the government’s plan to remedy the population structure and fix marketplace issues, as well as supervise labor licenses and work permits, prevent iqama trade, control residency violations and ensure the departure of every expat the country is not in need of.

This in addition to matters related to the correct implementation of the new residency law to be approved by the new National Assembly after elections that will take place at the end of September. Sources said the ministerial committee has prepared a comprehensive report in this regard in cooperation with concerned authorities such as the Public Authority of Manpower, commerce ministry and Civil Service Commission, and this report will be on the next government’s agenda and expected to be approved and sent to concerned authorities for implementation.

The sources said among the decisions that were approved earlier and then cancelled due to the COVID situation was that an expat employee in the government sector cannot get a work permit in the private sector if the government authority where they work terminates their contract. They said this decision was made in 2019, but cancelled due to the difficulty in leaving the country during the pandemic and the need of some private entities for labor, because some residents were stuck abroad and could not return to Kuwait due to health protocols.

The sources said reactivating this decision is possible at the start of next year, especially since the circumstances that caused its cancellation no longer exist. The committee for remedying the population structure believes that those who are terminated means the state is not in need of them, and they should leave the country after receiving their indemnities. They said the country is not compelled to allow them to move to another workplace, especially since among the items of the new law is one that stipulates an expat who has been in the country for five years and his workplace is not in need of them should leave the country, and their residency permit will not be renewed.

Meanwhile, the Civil Service Commission announced that reports about allowing transfers of employees of fake or closed companies are not true. “Complaints about the workforce can be done through the labor laws, especially the executive decision to transfer employees,” the commission said.



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