Kuwait’s expatriate workforce up 21%


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Stricter penalties proposed for residency trafficking

KUWAIT CITY, July 9: The Audit Bureau’s report on the follow-up of recommendations to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of government procedures highlighted the recommendations made by the National Committee for Regulating the Population Structure. These recommendations aim to address the imbalance in the population structure of Kuwait.

The following are the key recommendations

National Labor Market Platform – Assign the Public Authority for Civil Information and the Public Authority for Manpower to coordinate with relevant authorities to launch the national platform for the labor market and submit a time plan for implementing the project.

Worker’s Identity Integration – Approve the proposal to add the worker’s identity through the ‘My Identity’ application. Kuwait Visa Application – Approve and launch the ‘Kuwait Visa’ application.

Kuwaitization Project — Launch the Kuwaitization project for cooperative societies in partnership with relevant authorities.

Electronic Lease Contract – Assign the Public Authority for Civil Information to launch the electronic lease contract within 6 months and submit a time plan for implementing the project.

The following are the additional measures that should be undertaken:

Electronic Employment Contract – Assign the Public Authority for Manpower, in coordination with the Fatwa and Legislation Department, to study the legality of applying the electronic employment contract; form a labor market development team.

Follow-Up on Government Measures – The report also covered the results of following up on recommendations to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of government measures in reducing the spread of marginal labor keeping in mind human rights and legal compliance while adhering to the constitution and state laws. In this regard, efforts are ongoing to amend laws and regulations to preserve the rights of all parties.

Public Authority for Manpower actions must include measures taken to suspend the files of violating employers; activation of systems to fine companies that do not comply with Resolution No. 2022/156, imposing a fine of 100 dinars for each violating worker registered with the company. It has been noted that there has been an increase in the number of expatriate workers over the last three years, with a 21% increase in 2023 compared to 2021.

The Audit Bureau’s report emphasized the need for significant reforms to address labor issues and improve the management of foreign workers in Kuwait.

In this regard, the key recommendations include the following:

Establishing a Clear Labor Policy – Formulate a definitive labor policy to identify the actual needs for specific specializations required from foreign workers in the private and oil sectors

Reviewing Regulations and Laws – Revise existing regulations and laws governing the affairs of foreign workers to ensure their financial and living rights, as well as the rights of employers

Solving Legal, Financial, and Humanitarian Issues – Address and resolve all problems related to the legal, financial, and humanitarian aspects of foreign workers

Accountability and Legal Action – Hold accountable institutions and companies found by the Authority to be bringing in more workers than needed; take legal action against employers who hire workers after their contracts have expired, which violates the Constitution, labor laws, and international standards.

Integrated Program for Workforce Nationalization – Develop an integrated program and strategic plan to replace expatriate workers with national workers without compromising performance levels in economic activities.

Harsher Penalties for Residency Trafficking – Impose stricter penalties on those committing residency trafficking; refer files of violating employers to judicial authorities to deter such activities.

Changing Societal Perception of Craftsmanship — Continue efforts to change the perception of craftsmanship, professional, and manual work in Kuwaiti society; organize events to highlight the value and importance of these types of work.

The recommendations highlight the need for a comprehensive and strategic approach to labor management, ensuring the rights and responsibilities of both workers and employers are upheld, and aiming to balance the labor market with national workers while maintaining economic efficiency.

By Faris Al-Abdan
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 3559 times!

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