Kuwait public sector begins reducing number of foreign workers

Filipinos who availed general amnesty granted by the Kuwaiti government are seen here gathering at the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 4, on April 3, 2020 on their home to Manila amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic crisis. (AFP)
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Updated 05 August 2020

Kuwait public sector begins reducing number of foreign workers

  • The move is part of the nation’s move toward Kuwaitization

RIYADH: Several Kuwaiti government ministries have started to lay off expatriate workers, according to a report on Tuesday by Al-Rai newspaper.

It said the ministries will dismiss 50 percent of foreign employees, in particular those who work in non-technical fields and for subcontractors.

“The process of terminating expats working in the governmental agencies will happen gradually and we will be notifying them to ensure that the work is not affected,” a source told Al-Rai.

The dismissal process is expected to take three months but it is understood that employees who were hired directly by the ministries have already been redeployed to companies that provide subcontracted services.

Arab Times reported that expatriates who work in specialist fields requiring certain levels of expertise will be laid off gradually to avoid disrupting workflow.

The move is part of the nation’s move toward Kuwaitization. The policy was introduced in 2018 in an attempt to reduce the number of foreign workers in the public sector, and provide a more balanced workforce that offers more job opportunities for citizens.

“The committee has taken concrete steps to address the issue in the demographic imbalance,” said MP Khalil Al-Saleh, head of the parliamentary Human Resources Development Committee. “We will be holding a meeting next week to prepare a report, with data and statistics, that we will present to the National Assembly.

“We have achieved what we agreed upon to solve the problem, especially since there are expats that are working in non-technical jobs in the governmental sector.”

According to data published in December 2019, about 120,000 of the 3 million expatriates in Kuwait work in the public sector.


Gulf countries to vaccinate those vulnerable to COVID-19 infections  

Updated 29 October 2020

Gulf countries to vaccinate those vulnerable to COVID-19 infections  

  • Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court has announced that the families of those who died from COVID-19 will receive the coronavirus vaccine as a priority
  • Omani authorities announced that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccine had been ordered

DUBAI: Gulf countries have begun to implement plans for the vaccinations of those at most at risk of COVID-19 infections and those who were bereaved. 
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court has announced that the families of those who died from COVID-19 will receive the coronavirus vaccine as a priority. 
The campaign was launched in cooperation with the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi to protect the health of families around the country, Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoon Al-Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court said on Wednesday.  
Since the start of the pandemic, the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office has maintained communication with the families of those who lost their lives to the virus to help them handle its consequences, state news agency Wam reported. 
Kuwait has also announced that the elderly, patients with chronic disease, front line medics and providers of basic services will be vaccinated against COVID-19 once shipments arrive.  
The Kuwaiti health minister, Basel Al-Sabah, said these measures aimed to curtail coronavirus complications, infections and hospitalizations. 
Meanwhile, Omani authorities announced that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccine had been ordered, which the health ministry aims to use before the end of the year.
A second batch of 1.8 million has also been ordered, according to the state news agency ONA.
“We hope to vaccinate about 60 percent of citizens and residents so that we could attain total immunity in the community,” said the Minister of Health, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saeedi. 
The minister, who is a member of the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, has said the Sultanate seeks to obtain COVID-19 vaccine from any globally accredited institution.