Friday , October 20 2017

Government panel works end to kafeel system – Proposed employer-held residence card could control expatriate travel

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 13: While several MPs are preparing to submit a request for forming a special temporary committee to study the problem related to population structure and to hold a special session on March 30, the committee formed by the government to study the possibility of cancelling the sponsorship (kafeel) system is proceeding towards setting up a mechanism for implementing the system in a manner that protects the rights of concerned parties, reports Arab Times daily.

Such a move by the government’s committee, which consists of representatives from Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, Ministry of Interior, and the Public Authority for Manpower, is aimed at preserving the global image of Kuwait in the aspect of human rights.

The proposal for tackling this issue will be submitted by several MPs, namely Jama’an Al-Harbash, Abdulkareem Al-Kandari, Khaleel Abul, Thamer Al-Suwait, Majed Al-Mutairi, Yousef Al-Fadhala, Abdullah Fuhad, Osama Al-Shaheen, Mohammad Al-Dallal and Mohammad Hayef.

According to the MPs, the number of expatriates in the country has exceeded beyond the normal limits due to lack of implementation of substitution policies (Kuwaitization) and lack of restrictions which in turn encourage the phenomenon of visa trading in the country.

This has resulted in the number of Kuwaitis to be just 30 percent of the total population of Kuwait. Informed sources revealed that the proposal, which is being studied by the government’s committee, suggests that the residencies of private sector employees will be issued through the Public Authority for Manpower.

This authority will be responsible for organizing the work contract between the employer and the employee. They explained that the contract, which will be signed by the employer and the employee, will consist of all necessary conditions.

Once they are signed, the employee will be under the sponsorship of the Public Authority for Manpower. The name of the authority will be added to the employee’s civil ID. The contract signed between the employer and the employee will include articles that will prevent one party of the contract from transgressing the rights of the other party in any manner.

For instance, employers will be prohibited from holding the passport of their employees due to lack of any forceful obligation over those employees.

The contract will also prohibit transfer of residency from one employer to another as long as the employee is registered as working for a certain employer. The employee will be obligated to cancel his/her residency and travel in case they refuse to work. This measure is aimed at preventing malicious transfer of residency which will harm the interest of the current employer.

The employee will be presented with a residency card which will be held by the sponsor in order to prevent the employee from travelling outside the country without the permission of the employer. The employee will be able to travel only if he/she presents such a card. This measure will substitute the illegal holding of employees’ passports by the employers.

The contract will also preserve the rights of the employee, especially in financial aspects. The transfer of salary will be via the bank, which is the safest and trusted means in case of any dispute which might arise between the employer and the employee.

In case of disagreement, citizens can report to the Public Authority of Manpower to cancel the sponsorship, which will prompt the authority to put a block on the employee, preventing him/her from transferring residency until they exit and return under a new residency.

The sources said, “Certain individuals will be exempted from the condition of exiting and returning with a new residency. This includes people working in higher positions, doctors, engineers, managers, people with higher education university certificates and those who are in their category”.

They added that companies that are registered in the Kuwait Bourse will have special treatment in various aspects, such as the employees will be allowed to transfer to another employer, among other privileges. These are aimed to restructure the population composition, which will curb the number of unproductive labor force in the country.

Also
The Domestic Workers Department, affiliated to the Residency Affairs General Directorate in the Interior Ministry, has suspended the registration of absconding cases filed by sponsors against domestic workers through the service centers, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

No absconding cases will be registered until the sponsors coordinate with the Domestic Workers Department to verify if the sponsors paid all dues to the workers, the Public Relations and Security Media Department explained in its press statement.

The ministry is keen on enforcing all international protocols and resolutions on protecting human rights and the rights of workers.

Moreover, the Domestic Workers Department is recording information of a worker who files a complaint with a security message affirming there will be no entry on the same worker unless the concerned authorities check with the department, the statement added.

The Residency Affairs General Directorate affirmed that it will continue protecting the rights of domestic workers, domestic labor recruitment offices and sponsors; stressing they will go through all legal channels to achieve this goal. It clarified that implementation of the new system aims to guarantee the rights of all parties in disputes filed in courts.

Meanwhile, all diplomatic missions concerned with domestic workers have expressed satisfaction over this system; affirming the country is always trying to offer the best services to expatriates.

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