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.