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Panel appeal on 35 days paid annual leave – Tension seen

KUWAIT CITY, March 11: Chairman of the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee MP Homoud Al- Khodair has appealed to the government to continue supporting the proposed amendment of the Private Sector Labor Law, which the National Assembly approved in its first reading in the last session.

The government had earlier expressed willingness to support the bill that stipulates 35 days paid annual leave and full indemnity without deducting social security fees for employees in the private sector.

However, the input of Finance Minister Mariam Al-Aqeel during the session prompted the MPs to suspect that the government might withdraw its support; thereby, hindering passage of the bill.

Al-Khodair warned the government’s withdrawal of support might lead to tension between the two authorities. Speaking on behalf of the Assembly, he assured the public that the legislature will push for approval of the bill; considering the proposed amendments, once approved, will encourage Kuwaitis to work in the private sector. In another development, the Human Rights Committee discussed in its meeting Monday the government’s failure to establish the National Bureau for Human Rights; taking into consideration the law was approved in 2015 and six months have passed since the last amendment.

Committee Chairman MP Adel Al-Damkhi stated that although the board of directors has been formed; the bureau’s headquarters, budget and executive regulations have yet to see the light.

He then urged the government to quickly address the issue. He pointed out some members of the committee may have used a sharp tone during discussions, but this is just a manifestation of its intention to take a stand against the concerned ministers. He said the country is proud of having such a bureau, but it exists only on paper.

Furthermore, Deputy Parliament Speaker MP Eissa Al-Kandari disclosed that he received a request from Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan to clarify points of the interpellation motion submitted by MPs Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Humaidi Al-Subai’e last week. Al-Kandari affirmed he took the necessary action in accordance with the internal regulations of the Assembly and referred the minister’s request to the two MPs in order to address the issue as soon as possible.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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