KUWAIT CITY, July 29: As part of its continuous efforts to organize work procedures in the private and oil sectors, the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) issued administrative decision number 552 specifying places where women are allowed to work at night (12 activities), reports Al- Anba daily.
The Labor Law stipulates that a female employee doing a man’s job must be given equal compensation. Female employees have the same standard working hours as male employees, but they are not allowed to work from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am.
However, women working in clinics, pharmacies, hotels, nursery schools, homes for the handicapped, airlines, tourism offices, theaters and entertainment industries are allowed to work beyond the standard working hours. Female employees in cooperative societies, public utilities, beauty salons, tailoring shops, banks and offices may work during the night but only until midnight.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor may extend night working hours during Ramadan, Eid and public holidays. Employers must arrange transportation for female employees working at night. Informed sources disclosed the decision of PAM states that the workplaces for women include hotels, pharmacies, medical laboratories, health care sector, law offices, recreational parks, nurseries for infants and handicapped, aviation companies and institutions, theaters, cinema, television, satellite and radio stations, commercial establishments operating in airports and ports, oil sector and petrochemical industry, companies that have contract with the government for providing 24- hour services such as child, handicapped and elderly care.
The decision also specifies places where women are allowed to work until 12 midnight as follows: banks, restaurants, public welfare associations, recreational parks, law offices, cooperatives, educational institutions, beauty salons for women, tourism offices and airline agents, commercial complexes, and markets except during Ramadan.
PAM has made it mandatory for institutions that need to employ women at night to provide them with security and means of transportation to and from the workplace. At the same time, PAM has identified 15 industrial activities where the employment of women is prohibited irrespective of their age.
These activities include dye industries, asbestos, chlorine and soda industry, asphalt industry, quarries and factories, slaughterhouses, manufacture and trade of pesticides, furnaces for melting and casting metals, explosives and related works, operating and maintenance of electric motors, manufacture of liquid electric batteries and repairing them, manufacture of organic fertilizers or storage facilities, sandblasting industry and any industry that emits silica dust, heavy work requiring effort such as works related to construction, firefighting and hazardous manual work related to maintenance and drilling of wells of all kinds, and all works that require the circulation or use of lead, benzol, arsenic, phosphorus or any of the substances listed under the category ‘occupational diseases’.
On the other hand, PAM prohibits employers from hiring men in establishments which provide services for women, including the display and sale of women’s special clothing, beauty salons and sale of their products, and women’s health institutes. PAM stressed that married working women with a baby has the right to have two hours break for breastfeeding as per the regulations, such as submission of a letter in this regard to the employer along with the birth certificate of the baby.
The employer has the right to arrange the breastfeeding times in accordance with the nature of work, and the breastfeeding right is cancelled after two years from the date the baby was born. The decision also grants a Muslim woman, whose husband died, fully paid leave for four months and 10 days from the date of death (waiting period leave). The marriage contract and death certificate must be submitted, and the woman should not work for others during the leave period.