With the government’s imposed transition to the use of Civil IDs over residency stickers on expat passports, its goal to address the issues that come with the sponsorship (kafala) system, is slowly being realized.
Along with this, the government’s nationalisation programme is also taken into consideration. This has been the goal in reviewing workers’ residency permits, education level, as well as work permits – to address the demographic imbalance in the state, and to open more opportunities to nationals to work in the private and public sector.
Gov’t Cancels 20,000 Iqamas; Announces Revised Work Timings for Street Cleaners
In a recent update from State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel, around 20,000 expat residency permits (iqamas) were cancelled during the past three years due to linking workers’ residency permits, education level, and work permits, as shared in a report by the Kuwait Times.
As per the minister, the Public Authority for Manpower has recovered KD 123,573 for employers who submitted complaints at the domestic help department against domestic help recruitment agencies and companies.
Furthermore, Aqeel shared that 194 female inmates out of 500 at the expat shelter have already been deported to their respective homelands.
The minister shared that they are currently exploring solutions to resolve the issue of absconding workers by means of granting them a three-month grace period to amend their status, on top of increasing absconding fines, and punishing those who employ absconders.
Meanwhile, the Kuwait Municipality also announced an update last June 18 (Tuesday) regarding the street cleaners’ working hours during this summer season.
According to Ahmad Al Manfouhi, the Director-General of Kuwait Municipality, the revised work schedule for street cleaners will be from 3:00am to 11:00am in the summer season, and from 4:00am to 12:00pm during winter. The decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of street cleaners who work under the sun for long hours.
Al Manfouhi emphasized the need for adherence of the establishments to the new working schedules, also raising a warning that penalties and fines would be imposed on the companies that do not adhere to set new rules.
In most parts of the Middle East, governments have placed a work ban during hours in the day when the sun is at its most extreme heat. Health conditions that may arise from exposure to direct sunlight and extreme heat include heat exhaustion, dehydration, and in worse case, sunstroke, or even death.