World Economy

Kuwait to Revamp Employment Policies

Kuwait to Revamp Employment PoliciesKuwait to Revamp Employment Policies

Expatriates constitute more than 95% of the workforce in Kuwait’s private sector and there is an urgent need to revamp employment policies, a senior official has said.

There are currently a total of 1.5 million foreign workers employed in the private sector, added The Times Kuwait report, quoting Ahmad Al-Mousa, deputy director general of labor recruitment sector in the public authority for manpower, TradeArabia reported.

The number of Kuwaitis working in the private sector accounted for less than 5% of the total, according to the latest employment figures, prompting the authority to call for urgent reorganization in the country’s recruitment and employment policies, the report said.

Al-Mousa said the move was necessary to ensure that only skilled laborers are brought into the country.

The decision to cut the expatriate numbers was taken after studying Kuwait’s current population structure, its labor market needs and the actual employee requirements of companies, Al-Mousa said.

The work permits of 22,019 expatriate workers had been cancelled as of this month for staying outside the country beyond that specified period, and a further 27,425 work permits were terminated after the workers decided to permanently leave the country, explained Al-Mousa.

Employers with governmental contracts are now able to complete their transactions electronically including the renewal and cancellation of their employees’ work permits.

For years now, expatriates have become the whipping boy of political discourse in Kuwait. Blame the expats for the crowded streets. Blame the expats for the deteriorating health care services. Blame the expats for the high cost of tuition. Blame the expats for the rising crime rates (actually government stats prove that citizens and bedouins commit the highest percentage of crimes in Kuwait). There is a clear bias in several recent interior ministry actions and decrees against expatriates.