System aimed at protecting rights of workers: Al-Marri

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20: Director of Public Relations Department at Public Authority for Manpower Abdullah Al-Marri announced the launch of a new mechanism to register absconding cases in specified phases within 60 days instead of the current period of 90 days. He explained that the maximum period for reporting an absconding case is 60 days.

The process will be carried out in phases in coordination with Ministry of Interior. If an absconding report is malicious, the period will be extended even if it exceeds 60 days.

Al-Marri said this during a press conference that was organized to declare the launch of electronic services set in place for workers and employers concerning complaints and absconding cases. The press conference was attended by representatives of a number of diplomatic missions in the country. He explained that a worker, during the first 30 days, is informed via SMS about the absconding report.

Within that time, the worker can visit the department where inspection teams, in coordination with the department, will conduct repeated visits to the workplace of the worker to verify the seriousness of the absconding report. During the second phase, which is from 31 days to 60 days, another SMS will be sent to the worker to remind him about the absconding report. Within this period, the worker has the right to call for the cancellation of his work permit in order to leave the country for good before he is referred to Ministry of Interior.

Al-Marri said the reduction in the amnesty period is in the best interest of the workers because it curbs the phenomenon of blackmail that occurs in some absconding cases. It also allows inspectors to verify the seriousness of the employers who filed the absconding reports and to ensure the lack of maliciousness in the reports. He indicated that the worker, during this period of 60 days, can submit a complaint about his financial benefits and passport.

However, he is referred to Ministry of Interior after 60 days after Public Authority for Manpower has ensured there is no maliciousness in the absconding claim. Al-Marri explained that the mechanism is aimed at protecting the rights of the workers, and keeps them in constant touch with the authority.

The Public Relations Department coordinates with the rest of the authority’s administrations for details related to the period of complaints, the absconding cases and the knowledge of the workers about them, as well as the results it comes up with because a large number of workers visit the authority several times after the amnesty period. He stressed that regulating the contractual relationship between the workers and employers is the responsibility of the authority particularly of Manpower Protection Sector which, through its various departments, works on providing legal protection to workers as well as protecting all their rights which are guaranteed by the labor law of the private sector No. 6/2010. Al-Marri affirmed that the authority, coinciding with the launch of the electronic services that will be available to all, will continue working with the old system and will receive complaints of workers through the Public Relations Units in all administrations of the six governorates.

Meanwhile, Director of Information Systems Rabab Al-Osaimi said some of the offered electronic services are general and concerned with inquiries about the presence of absconding cases using details such as civil ID number or passport number as well as the concerned party of the complaint. She said the services are available in four languages – Arabic, English, French and Urdu. Concerning absconding cases, Al- Osaimi explained that employers and workers can inquire about absconding cases through the “Easy” service. The absconding notification is registered through the system. An order to inspect is given to the concerned inspection department to investigate the worker and it will automatically revert back with the results. If the worker was absconding during the first inspection, a second order for another investigation is issued to ensure the results are obtained automatically.

By Fares Al-Abadan Al-Seyassah Staff

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