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Government opposes to 35 day annual paid leave for private sector

KUWAIT CITY, April 2: The parliamentary Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee on Tuesday discussed the proposed amendments to Private Sector Labor Law No. 6/2010, such as increasing the number of paid annual vacation days for private sector employees to 35 days.

Committee Chairman MP Homoud Al-Khodair pointed out that although the labor unions and other concerned officials in the private sector endorsed the proposal, the government seems adamant in rejecting it.

He confirmed the inputs of the concerned bodies were taken into consideration as they are vital to the composition of the bill, indicating the final vote will be conducted next week and then the bill will be discussed in the Assembly after one week.

Furthermore, MP Mohammed Al-Dallaal highlighted the magnitude of the fake credentials issue; asserting that the implications stretch to every corner of the country’s structure as the blame does not fall on the Ministry of Higher Education alone but the government as a whole, while it is not specific to Kuwaitis but the expatriates as well.

Therefore, Al-Dallal and several other MPs submitted a request to allocate two hours of the National Assembly sessions scheduled for April 16 and 17 to address the issue and look into the efforts exerted by the government as a whole. He explained that aside from the quick reaction of the Ministry of Higher Education when the issue was first brought to light, not much has been done in the past six months. “The government does not seem to realize the magnitude of the issue,” noted the MP.

He said some former ministry officials and university professors are coming out with dangerous statements which contradict everything the ministry discloses about the issue.

Although the higher education minister is politically accountable, the issue affects other parts of the government because individuals with fake credentials have been appointed to positions through which they provided services to the public and received money.

This is considered misusage of public funds; let alone those who acquired commercial licenses for medical, social or technical services and engaged in such practices even if they hold fake qualifications and credentials.

For this reason, the Assembly urged the government, not just the ministry, to present its plan to tackle the issue. Al-Dallal called on all concerned authorities, including the Civil Service Commission (CSC), to brief the Assembly on their efforts, screening procedures and long term solution. “The Assembly and the public need to know what is being done,” he stressed.

In another development, Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Khaled Al-Fadel, during his meeting with the Human Resources Committee, confirmed that there is a comprehensive plan to employ Kuwaitis in the oil sector for the next five years.

Commenting on the statement of her colleague, MP Safa’a Al-Hashem said the plan is weak and does not include all graduates who are eligible to work in the sector. She asserted the minister did not even respond to her query on the reasons behind the “crippling employment examinations” at the Ministry of Oil.

Al-Fadel clarified the Ministry of Oil did not accept all petroleum engineering graduates for two years due to complications that led to slow progress of projects. He affirmed the abovementioned plan includes the recruitment of all petroleum engineering graduates and other relevant specializations, in addition to a yet to be specified number of individuals who will be hired for future development projects.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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