Ministry fields 447 issues, settles 200
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 6: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor dealt with 447 reports submitted by domestic workers from April 23 to July 26, 2018, says Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh in response to the queries of MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei.
Al-Sabeeh disclosed that 200 of these reports were settled amicably while 11 were referred to the courts and five were resolved by recruitment offices. She said a specialized department handles labor-related issues reported by workers, in conjunction with a similar department under the umbrella of the Ministry of Interior which receives reports from the employers. She disclosed the Cabinet issued Decree No. 614/2018 on April 13 regarding the transfer of the department under the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
Since this move necessitates a transition period, the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has been given until March 31, 2019 to complete all the necessary procedures and start operations. During the transition period, the Ministry of Interior will continue to operate the department ensuring there is no disruption until completion of the transfer of authority.
Furthermore, the government has rejected the Early Retirement Bill and referred it back to the Parliament; citing reasons that make the bill unimplementable. Therefore, the relevant parliamentary committees are preparing their reports based on information given to them by concerned governmental authorities.
These reports will be submitted to the Parliament for deliberation and passage of the bill for the second time. Commenting on the subject, MP Ahmed Al-Fadel stated that any MP who submits amendments to the bill “is putting a stick through the wheels,” especially when it comes to Article Four which stipulates percentages. He said he wants the bill to achieve two main goals: first is provide the government with a choice to open positions and prevent inflation of expenditures on salary to help the economy and address the job crisis.
Second is to rebalance the scales at the Public Institution for Social Security as the bill should correct errors in its finances. He explained that by presenting two choices – compulsory or optional retirement, the cost will be based on the salary scale. In another development, member of the parliamentary Committee for Improvement of Work Environment MP Majed Al-Mutairi has confirmed the panel’s approval of several recommendations which were referred to the government.
He said one of these recommendations is for cooperative societies to allocate 20 percent of their commercial spaces for rent to owners of small and medium enterprises, retirees or housewives as an initiative to support local businesses.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff