The Civil Service Law has been revised to ensure that Kuwaiti’s receive public sector jobs
5 September 2017| Last updated on 5 September 2017
Many expats working in the public sector in Kuwait are facing dire times after the Public Authority of Housing Welfare (PAHW) started implementing the “Kuwaitization” policy during December 2016.
The aim of “Kuwaitization” is to replace the expatriate labor force with national labor force in the public sector. It is speculated that 85,000 expatriates will be replaced by local Kuwaiti’s and that the switch will annually cost the Kuwaiti government around one billion Kuwaiti dinars.
In 2016 it was reported that more than half of Kuwaiti’s are unemployed and unwilling to join the private sector. The Arab Times reported that according to Mohamad Ramadhan, a Kuwaiti economist, “Kuwaitis are rarely fired from public sector jobs regardless of their productivity, except in extreme situations like corruption or fraud cases”. This combined with better benefits, perks, less working hours and job security in the public sector, Kuwaiti’s prefer to stay unemployed and wait for a job in the public sector.
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Bonuses that was recently awarded to expats in the public sector has poured more fuel on the fire: MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari has requested that Paragraph Three of Article 15 in the Civil Service Law be amended to state that “Non-Kuwaitis should be appointed to public sector jobs only if there are no Kuwaitis qualified for these jobs. Their employment contracts should not exceed five years, while renewal or extension of their contracts is not allowed in any way.”
There is at least a bit of hope for some expats working in the public sector. The Kuwaiti government has announced that they will have ‘controlled’ termination over the next five years.
Position terminations will in example start from the oldest employees with the least number of dependents. This will help employees find another work to be able to support their families.
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There is also a slim chance of reemployment if the candidate has been there for more than a year and proven efficient during his/ her time there. This will however only be in very rare cases in the areas of specialization.