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Sunday , December 5 2021

Public Works set for expat job terminations – Society warns on leniency

KUWAIT CITY, June 23: Ministry of Public Works Undersecretary Engineer Ismail Al-Failakawi is preparing a list of names of expatriate employees whose services will be terminated after obtaining approval from the Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Dr Rana Al-Faris.

Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Dr Rana Al-Faris

The sources indicated the first list of employees whose services will be terminated consists of more than 150 Ministry of Public Works and the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) personnel.

They expected Engineer Al- Failakawi will issue an administrative decision in the coming days to end the services of all employees included in the first list, indicating another list is being prepared with the names of employees whose services will be terminated, while the second list to be adopted during the next two weeks is also expected to include about 150 employees. Sources pointed out that Minister Al-Faris is currently seeking to Kuwaitize all sectors of the ministry, and expected the rate of Kuwaitis could reach 100 percent by the end of the current year, reaffirming a third list to be compiled in the coming months will include the remaining number of expats.

The total number of expatriates employed in the Ministry of Public Works and the Public Authority for Roads and Transportation is 530, they noted. In the meantime, sources described the step to end the services of all expatriate employees in the Ministry of Public Works and Public Authority for Roads and Transportation as “daring”, given the number of employees performing technical duties, which makes their presence necessary, unless national personnel are available to take up such positions. Based on the decision of Minister of Public Works to implement Kuwaitization, the services of four expatriate senior legal advisers to the director general of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) have been ended, and they will be replaced by Kuwaiti legal advisers.

According to informed sources, Minister Al-Fares rejected the request of the director general to exclude two current expatriate consultants, arguing that the decision applies to all four expatriates without exception, based on a strategy that needs to be met within a year.

They explained that the higher management of PAHW recently asked all its departments to submit their needs within a week to the administrative and financial affairs sector in line with the work interest, following the decision to implement Kuwaitization.

This was aimed at taking into consideration the needs of the operating departments after ending the services of the first batch of expatriate employees in PAHW and prior to ending the services of the second and third batches. Minister Al-Fares’ decision to replace expatriates working in PAHW with national manpower will affect 398 expatriates who meet the conditions, representing 22 percent of PAHW’s total of 1,743 employees. The legal department in PAHW will notify those included in the first batch to officially end their services starting from the end of next week.

The first batch includes 135 expatriate employees and represent 33 percent of the total expatriates covered in the decision and seven percent of the total number of employees.

It is worth mentioning that Minister Al-Fares excluded in her ministerial decision those employees who are the children of Kuwaiti and Gulf women, Bedoun residents, and the service employees, including employees in driving and handling service sectors. Also, first and second batches include at least 33 percent of the total expatriate employees, provided the final batch includes the remaining expatriate employees.

Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE) has warned the government against leniency in the Kuwaitization policy, which entails provision of more opportunities for Kuwaiti youth in the public and private sectors, and increasing the Kuwaiti employment rates in contracts signed by the state, especially in the projects of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, Ministry of Public Works, and other government agencies.

In a press statement, Chairman of KSE Eng. Faisal Al-Atel stressed the need to expedite the process of putting an end to the termination of services of Kuwaiti engineers who work in companies that have signed contracts with KPC, revealing that KSC received complaints from some colleagues who sought the society’s assistance to ensure they can return to work.

He said the society is in contact with the Minister of Oil Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel in this regard, and a request has been made for providing a list of engineers whose services have been terminated by such companies.

Al-Atel explained that the termination of the services of Kuwaiti engineers and some professionals took place despite statements issued by Ministry of Social Affairs that warned against terminating the services of Kuwaiti employees in the private sector until June 2021, adding that the government had issued decisions to ensure all companies contracted by the government maintain Kuwaiti workers.

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