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‘Absconding report may lead to deportation’ Legal sources warn against such a move

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 22: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor will cancel the residence permit of an expatriate worker and deport him if his employer or sponsor files an absconding report against him at the Labor Disputes Department, say sources to the daily. Sources clarified this is different from the existing policy which allows the concerned worker to submit his complaint to the authorities within 60 days. In the same context, legal sources said the absconding report in line with the above mentioned mechanism will be considered a sword on the neck of the expatriates as the latter will be treated like a culprit.

They pointed out the laborer will be deported without giving him a chance to take his rights and dues. They regard such step as oppression against the expatriate personnel which is the weak party in this case. They explained the absconding report may stem from a conflict between the employee and the employer; hence, it can be reviewed legally.

They argued the legislator granted 60 days for the two sides to find the truth behind the report, particularly since there are many cases in which the laborer and the employer disagree due to delay in depositing the salary.

They warned about the consequences of applying the immediate deportation policy against the laborer in Kuwait as the latter may resort to any of the international human rights organizations and embarrass the Kuwaiti government, particularly in terms of trafficking in people issue which is on top of the priorities of these organizations.

They urged the ministry to follow in the footsteps of some neighboring countries like the United Arab Emirates, which necessitates the official announcement of absconding laborers in daily newspapers and the absconding report is referred to the concerned authorities two weeks after from the date of publishing the report; thereby, removing doubt that the laborer was mistreated.

In another development, Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs at Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Jamal Al-Dosari disclosed the ministry has applied a new mechanism to assess the actual manpower needs of companies, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily. He said in a press statement that the new mechanism is aimed at easing procedures for updating files of the employers through the inclusion of data from the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI).

He explained the civil numbers of the commercial or industrial establishments will be recorded to update their files easily. He added this mechanism will be applied on some establishments like restaurants and saloons. He pointed out this will facilitate the inspection of new companies to assess their actual manpower needs directly through their files by using the civil numbers.

He said that, in principle, the initial stage will cover 10 laborers until all data are completed. He revealed the Capital Labor Department has started applying this mechanism, indicating the sector is flexible in evaluating the actual manpower needs of companies and the inspection period has been reduced to two days.

By: Bassam Al-Qasas Al-Seyassah Staff

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