Oil sector employees’ benefits, salaries under the microscope

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Consultations center on legality of ‘pay cut’

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 14: The government discussion regarding the re-adjustment of the general budget and austerity measures that have been taken also includes the benefits given to the employees of the oil sector, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. The sources added there is consensus that the salaries paid to the oil sector employees are six times higher than the salaries of government employees in other sectors, which from the point of view of some, are unfair and need to be reviewed. The sources stated consultations centered on the legality of reducing salaries and benefits of employees of the oil sector.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) giving its opinion said any allowances granted by the state to its employees have become part of the salary and an acquired right. On the other hand, there is another government opinion to the contrary, given that there is a difference between touching the salary and its components. It is noted financial benefits can be stopped without the need for a law including reduction in salary, given that this is subject to the decision of the government administrative authority.

The sources pointed out there are proposals away from the existing legal debate, including the adoption of a fair salary scale for new hires in the oil sector companies, in line with the employees in other government institutions. Sources added, there is a proposal to get rid of the benefits not approved by law, foremost of which is what is known as the (golden package), which is offered from time to time to employees wishing to retire, often before their retirement, in addition to working to take necessary measures to legalize the growth of the cost of production and its reduction, which was 3.1 billion dinars in the current year’s budget, which exceeded the production cost of last year, which was about 2.9 billion.” Last week, The General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers has assigned the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) to study the possibility of setting the 60 years limit for Kuwaitis to receive employment support, reports Al-Qabas daily.

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