Expat workers again under attack in Kuwait and Saudi

Published:  14 Apr at 6 PM
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Kuwait municipality’s finance and administration department is looking to find reasons to lay off 60 per cent of expat workers.

The municipality is preparing to scrutinise expat qualifications and contracts re their positions, with the aim of amending titles and job descriptions and reviewing salaries. It claims that many of the expats recruited are enjoying special privileges and do not hold relelvant degrees for their positions.According to deputy director of the municipality Walled Al-Jassim, it may be possible to terminate the contracts of around 60 per cent of expat workers being investigated.

Last week’s proposal that Kuwaiti nationals be exempted from upcoming water and power price rises has now been confirmed, leaving expats and businesses located in apartment blocks to bear the full increases. Private houses, mostly owned by wealthy citizens are also excluded from the price hikes.

The increases will take effect once smart meters have been installed in all affected premises. Not all Saudi MPs were pleased with the decision, with a small number calling for expat exemption from the increases. MP Saleh Ashour called the price hike a crime against both expats and Saudi nationals, with Islamist MP Hamden Al-Azemi stating there was no justification for raising prices as the kingdom is a very rich country.

At the same time, the Saudization process has again reared its head in Saudi Arabia, with a newly mooted scheme aimed at the kingdom’s private sector expat employees. According to Human Resources Development Fund deputy director Omar Milibari, the draft law will ban the hiring of expats by private sector firms unless there is no suitable Saudi candidate available.

The project is intended to boost the number of jobs avaiaible to Saudi nationals, with the process of private sector recruitment due to be transferred to the online National Gate for Jobs Should a private sector employer be unable to engage a suitably qualified Saudi, an application to recruit from overseas will be processed. However, the time stipulated to find a qualified Saudi worker has not yet been determined.
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