Expats in Kuwaiti private sector now denied promised longer holidays

Published:  25 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Jobs
The Kuwaiti government has now scrapped a proposed scheme which would have been beneficial to expatriates working in the emirate’s private sector.

The original plan increased the numbers of annual days off from 30 to 35 and was welcomed by expats employed in the private sector, but has now been scrapped as only a few Kuwaitis in the sector would have benefited. The scheme had been welcomed during its final parliamentary reading as the first pro-expat legislation over the past nine years, but the final vote had been delayed by the government to allow for more consultation.

The reason for scrapping the plan was given as its harming of Kuwaiti business interests, even although it would have benefited the few Kuwaiti nationals employed in the sector. However, the feelings of the 1.7 million foreigners working in the private sector weren’t even considered, causing disappointment and anger in the expat community as a whole.

In a separate report, it seems that recruitment rates applying to expats in the private sector fell by as much as 62 per cent from 2015 to 2018. The news reinforces the apparent success of the Kuwaitization initiative aimed at ridding the emirate of the vast majority of its expat workers, thus restructuring its demographic balance. Figures show some 34,190 fewer residency permits granted during the three-year period but also show a decline in the number of Arab expats in jobs.
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