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Tuesday , December 7 2021

Ministry amends decree to pay cash for leave balance of health workers

Draft amendment includes adding in Article No. 40

KUWAIT CITY, March 16: According to informed sources, the Ministry of Health has completed the draft amendment to the civil service decree issued in 1979 to allow the employees of the ministry to be granted monetary allowance for the balance of vacations in excess of the permissible limit, reports Al-Rai daily. The sources revealed that this step was taken after the Civil Service Commission (CSC) refused to freeze the leave balance of the workers in the health sector or grant them a cash allowance due to the COVID- 19 pandemic circumstances, which prevented them from going on periodic vacations. This resulted in widespread parliamentary criticism, an attack on the government, and calls for non-cooperation with it.

They explained that the draft amendment includes adding in Article No. 40 to the aforementioned decree stating that “The Ministry of Health is excluded from Article 40. The minister of health, if need and work conditions arise, is authorized to grant cash to its workers in exchange for the balance of periodic leave that exceeds the legally permissible limit”. Article No. 40 of the civil service decree stipulates that an employee can maintain the balance of his periodic leaves that he did not benefit from within five years, and more than that shall be forfeited.

The sources stressed that the Ministry of Health’s move was taken because of the repercussions of the COVID- 19 crisis, the concerted efforts of the health workers to confront this virus and reduce its effects and risks, and to stop the periodic vacations for all the ministry’s employees, which was refl ected in an increase in their leave balance beyond the legally permitted limit. They said, “After CSC rejected the ministry’s request, another request was submitted to amend the decree in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Fatwa and Legislation Department”.

The sources stressed the keenness to expedite the completion of the necessary legal procedures for approving the amendment and redressing “the heroes of the White Army”. Meanwhile, all government institutions have submitted lists of employees who deserve to be paid incentives – front line workers to confront the COVID- 19 pandemic – to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with the exception of 6 institutions which are believed to be making some amendments to their lists, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable CSC sources. The sources said, “The CSC has forwarded the lists after running a check on them to the Ministerial Committee to determine the date for the payment of incentives.”

In response to a question about whether a date will be set for the payment of incentives to the institutions which have sent the lists to the CSC or the CSC will wait for the others to send their lists, the sources said, this depends on the ministerial committee. On the other hand, the 74th employment ‘period’ which was initiated by the CSC at the beginning of this month for Kuwaitis to register if they wish to work in the public sector will end next Friday, March 19.

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