KUWAIT CITY, May 20: A number of MPs have rejected the decision of the Council of Ministers to oblige ministries to refer for retirement all employees who have been in service for more than 30 years, asserting this decision is arbitrary because citizens who are still able and willing to work are being forced to retire.
The lawmakers consider this decision a manifestation of the failure of the State to generate employment opportunities, calling for the issuance of related legislation or amendment of Civil Service Law number 15/1979 to prevent the government from forcing employees to retire.
They urged the ministries and Civil Service Commission (CSC) to give employees a grace period before retirement.
MP Adnan Abdul-Samad stressed the need to reconsider the early retirement scheme, particularly since there is a justifiable and logical demand to treat citizens like some expatriates who have been allowed to work beyond the legal retirement age.
He argued compulsory retirement is unjustified and has been proven to be futile as it happened in the Ministry of Education which referred many instructors and employees for retirement only to rehire them again due to shortage of manpower after implementing the decision.
MP Khalil Saleh voiced objection to mandatory retirement, stressing the need to amend the article that gives ministers the right to refer employees for compulsory retirement. He said he presented a proposal to amend the law such that no employee shall be referred for retirement until he reaches the legal age of retirement, unless there is a valid reason like referral to investigation and other legal proceedings.
MP Hamdan Al-Azmi wondered why citizens must be forced to leave their work place before reaching the legal retirement age while some expatriates are allowed to work for many years after reaching the retirement age. He emphasized the need to amend the law to protect employees who should not be left under the whims of officials.
MP Adel Al-Damkhi regards the mandatory retirement program as fl awed as it is implemented without warning, which is detrimental to employees since most of them have financial obligations. He said compulsory retirement must not be utilized as a form of punishment for employees.
MP Khalid Al-Shatti stressed that citizens should be given the opportunity to work until they reach the legal retirement age. He said citizens who have the ability and are willing to continue working must be allowed to do so.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff