New Kuwait Labor Law 2010

12:07 PM

Published in the official Kuwait Gazette

Posted on 22-Feb-2010

Giving the expatriate working in Kuwait a new hope, the new labor law has been published in the official gazette on 21-Feb-2010 to make it into effect.

The law, which has updated provisions regarding the salary, public holidays, paid leave, sick leave as well as end of service payments deemed suitable for employees and their employers, was approved by the National Assembly last year and was sent to the Kuwait Cabinet before being sent to His Highness the Amir for endorsement. But the large number of domestic workers in Kuwait will not come under this rule.

On Salary:

The new labor law mandates that salaries of all employees be sent to the banks before the 7th of each month. It also allows employees paid leave on all official holidays, a day off every week, and 30 days of annual leave even during the first year of work. Article 17 grants 21 days paid Hajj pilgrimage leave to an employee who has spent two consecutive years in service under the same employer and has never performed the Hajj pilgrimage previously. Leave must also be granted to the employees on all the 13 days of public holidays and if workers are made to work on public holidays, they must be given a bonus of half-a-day’s salary in addition to a full day’s pay.

On Leave:

Furthermore, a worker is entitled to 40 days of paid sick leave, with full pay for the first 10 days, 75 percent pay for the next 10 days, 50 percent pay for the following 10 days and 25 percent for the last 10 days. An employee is entitled up to 30 days of unpaid sick leave if all his/her paid sick leaves are used up.

On Compensations:

According to article 51 of the labor law, a worker will get complete end of service compensation at the end of the contract period. The employee is entitled to full indemnity if the contract is terminated by the employer, or the employment contract ends without being renewed. A female employee can get full indemnity if she terminates the contract from her side due to marriage within a year from her marriage date.

Article 53 states that the employee is entitled to half month’s salary for every year if the employee resigns after more than three years and less than five years in service. If the employee resigns after 5 years but less than ten years of service, he is entitled to 75 percent of the monthly salary for every year. Beyond 10 years, the employee gets full month’s salary as compensation for every year of service.

On Working Hours

Among other new points, the new law stipulates that minors under the age of 15 cannot be recruited and that women are not allowed to work after 10:00 pm or be involved in risky tasks. The new law also stipulates that employees can work for 8 hours a day, including an hour long break, for six days a week, and that if they work on Friday they are entitled to a day and a half’s pay and a day off during the following week, not counting the following Friday.

On Women and Children

Under the new labor law, pregnant women can now take a paid leave of 70 days as long as they give birth within this period of time. New mothers can also be granted an unpaid leave of four months and the law also prohibits employers from dismissing female workers during this period. An employer is also obliged to establish a day care center for children below four years of age if more than 50 women or 200 men work in the establishment.

On Health Benefits

Employees who meet with accidents on the job or on their way to and from work must receive full salaries throughout the recovering period slated by a physician. If this period exceeds six months, then the employer pays half the salary until the injured employee recovers, dies or his/her handicap is confirmed.

On Termination

Regarding employee termination, the new law says that the employer must give a notice of three months and no worker can be terminated while on leave. The notice period for an employee to resign is also three months. The law also prohibits employers from firing workers without reason, as a result of activities in NGO’s or because they demanded their rights.

On a personal side note:

Although the above has been published, it does not guarantee that it applies to you or your company will follow suit. I know some if not most companies are not implementing this just as yet. The Kuwait Government should be vigilant in making sure that their law is being practiced. Therefore it is always smart to be vigilant and to know your rights in your work place. The above are not guidelines, they are actually published laws so I encouraged all OFW's to check their contracts and talk to your HR department to maximize and put into effect these rules into yours. Kuwait government really did a good thing here. It would've been been awesome if it doesn't only covers the high level clerical staffs and above but also the domestic workers too.

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