There are several key areas to be aware of within the Kuwait employment regulatory framework, especially for companies that plan to initiate a full local office and human resources department. These challenges can be mitigated by use of a locally sourced payroll provider who is familiar with all of the local laws and rules for both local employees as well as foreign nationals.
Anyone who has completed 15 years of age shall be eligible to conclude a work contract if the period of the contract is not specified. In the event where the period is specified, it should not exceed one year, until he will reach 18 years of age.
The work contract shall be made in writing and contain, in particular, the signing and effective dates of the contract, the amount of remuneration, the term of the contract if it is for a specific period and the nature of work. The contract shall be made in three copies, one for each party and the third shall be lodged with the competent authority at the Ministry. In the event where the work contract is not established by means of a written document, it shall still be deemed to exist and the worker may, in such event, establish his rights by all means of evidence.
Regardless of whether the work contract is for a specific of indefinite term, the remuneration of the worker may not be reduced during the contract validity period. Any agreement to the contrary, whether made before or after the effective date of the contract, shall be deemed null and void because this matter is related to the general order.
All contracts shall be written in Arabic and translations to any other language maybe added thereto, provided that the Arabic version shall prevail in the event of any dispute.
In the event where the term of the contract is specified, such term shall not exceed five years nor shall it be less than a year. The contract may be renewed after the expiry of the specified period with the consent of both parties.
The probation period of the worker shall be specified in the work contract, provided that it shall not exceed 100 working days. Either party may terminate the contract during the probation period without notice. In the event where the termination is made by the employer, he shall pay the worker’s end of service benefit for the period of work in the accordance of the provisions of this Law.
The worker shall not be on probation more than once for the same employer. The Minister shall issue a resolution to organize the conditions and regulations of work during the probation period.
The employer shall obtain the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s approval of the tables of penalties before the implementation thereof. The ministry may modify these tables depending on the nature of the establishment or of the work and in line with the provisions of this Law.
The employer may terminate the services of a worker without notice, compensation or benefit in the event where the worker has committed any of the following acts:
1- If the Worker has committed a mistake that resulted in a large loss for the employer.
2- If a was found that the worker obtained employment through cheating or fraud.
3- If the worker divulged secrets related to the establishment which caused or would have caused real losses.
The employer may dismiss the worker in any of the following events:
1- If he been found guilty of a crime that relates to honor, trust or morals.
2- If he committed an act against public morals at the work site.
3- If he assaulted one of his colleagues, his employer or deputy during work or for a reason thereof.
4- If he breached or failed to abide by any of the obligations imposed on him by the contract and the provisions of this Law.
5- If he is found to have repeatedly violated the instructions of the employer.
In the event where the employee is absent from work for 7 consecutive days or 20 separate days within a year without a valid excuse, the employer shall have the right to consider him as having resigned. In such event, provisions of Article 53 of this Law shall apply with regard to the worker’s end of service benefit.
In the event where the term of the work contract is not specified, both parties shall have the right to terminate the same by means of a notice to the other party as follows:
a- Three months prior to the termination of the contract for the workers earning a monthly remuneration.
b- One month prior to the termination of the contract for other workers.
In the event where the party wishing to terminate the contract does not abide by the period of notice, he shall be obliged to pay the other party a compensation for the notification period equal to the remuneration of the worker for the same period.
c- In the event where the notification of termination is issued by the employer, the worker shall have the right to be absent one day or 8 hours per week in order to search for other work. He shall also be entitled to his remuneration for the day or hours of absence.
The worker shall decide on the day or hours of absence and shall notify the employer at least one day prior to such absence.
d- The employer may exempt the employee from work during the period of notification while but shall count such period within the worker’s period of service. The employer shall pay the worker all his entitlements and remuneration for the period of notification.
Without prejudice to the social allowance and the children allowance, the remuneration shall include the payments made to the worker on periodic basis such as bonuses, benefits, allowances, grants, endowments or cash benefits.
In the event where the worker’s remuneration is a share of the net profits and the establishment did not make any profits or made little profits in such a way that the worker’s share is not proportionate to the work he performed, his remuneration shall be estimated based on the remuneration determined for a similar job or according to the profession custom or the prerequisites of fairness.
Remunerations are paid during the working days in the country’s currency, as follows:
a- Workers with a monthly remuneration shall receive their remunerations at least once a month.
b- Other workers shall receive their remunerations at least once every two weeks.
Payment of remunerations shall not be delayed for more than seven days after the due date thereof.
It is forbidden to allow workers to work for more than 48 hours per week or 8 hours a day, except in such events as are specified in this Law. Working hours during the month of Ramadan shall be equal to 36 hours per week.
However, it shall be allowed, by a ministerial resolution, to reduce working hours in hard jobs, jobs that are harmful by nature or for severe circumstances.
a- Workers shall not be required to work for more than five consecutive hours a day without a break of a minimum of one hour that is not included in the working hours.
The Financial, commercial and investment sectors shall be excluded from this provision and the working hours shall be equal to eight consecutive hours.
b- After having obtained consent of the Minister, workers may be required to work without a rest break for technical and urgent reasons or in office work
The employer may, by means of a written order, have workers work overtime if the necessity arises for the purpose of preventing a dangerous accident, repairing damages arising from such accident, avoiding a loss or facing an unusual work load. The overtime work should not exceed two hours a day, a maximum of 180 hours a year, three days a week or 90 days a year. The worker shall have the right to prove by any means that the employer required him to perform additional works for an additional period of time. The worker shall also be entitled to a 25 percent increase over his original remuneration for the period of overtime.
The employer shall keep a special record for overtime work showing the dates, number of hours worked and remunerations paid in consideration of the additional work assigned to the worker.
The worker shall be entitled to a paid weekend which is equal to 24 continuous hours after every six working days. The employer may call the worker for work during his weekend if the necessity arises. The worker shall be entitled to at least 50 percent of his remuneration, in addition to his original remuneration and to another day off instead of the one on which he worked.
The preceding paragraph does not affect the calculation of the worker’s rights including his daily remuneration and his leaves. This right is calculated by dividing his remuneration by the actual working days without including the weekends, although these weekends are paid.
The fully-paid official holidays are as follows:
a- Hegeira New Year: 1 day
b- Isra’ and Mi’raj day: 1 day
c- Eid Al-Fitr: 3 days
d- Waqfat Arafat: 1 day
e- Eid Al-Adha: 3 days
f- Prophet’s Birthday (Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi): 1 day
g- National Day: 1 day
h- Gregorian New Year: 1 day
In the event where the worker is required to work during any of the above mentioned holidays, he shall be entitled to a double remuneration and an additional day off.
The worker shall be entitled to a 30-day paid annual leave. However, the worker shall not be entitled to a leave for the first year of work except after at least 9 months of service for the employer. Official holidays and sick leaves during the year shall not be counted as annual leave. The worker shall be entitled to a leave for the fractions year in proportion with the period he spent in actual service, even the first year of service.
The employer shall have the right to determine the date of the annual leave and divide such leave after the first 14 days thereof, with the consent of the worker.
The worker who spent two continuous years working for the same employer shall be entitled to 21 days leave with pay to perform Al-Hajj provided that he had not performed hajj before.
The worker shall be entitled to the following sick leaves during the year:
– 15 days – at full pay
– 10 days – at three quarters of the pay
– 10 days – at half pay
– 10 days – at quarter pay
– 30 days without pay.
The worker shall provide a medical report from the doctor appointed by the employer or the doctor of the government medical center. In the event of conflict regarding the necessity of a sick leave or its duration, the report of the government doctor shall be adopted.
Incurable diseases shall be excluded pursuant to a resolution issued by the competent minister, in which he shall specify the types of incurable diseases.
A pregnant woman is privileged to have a maximum of 30 days’ maternity leave before the date of delivery and 40 days after delivery. A pregnant woman can also be absent from work up to 100 days, consecutive or not, after the maternity leave but without pay.
A medical certificate stating that the person is not yet fit to work needs to be presented as basis for the additional absences incurred after the maternity leave. This maternity leave will be forfeited on day-per-day basis until her annual leave are all taken.
|Working on Sundays ?||
Whenever a Worker is made to work in an official public holiday due to work conditions, such Worker shall be entitled to a double wage for that day.
|Employee Protection and Anti-discrimination Rights ?||
The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, national origin, language, and religion; however, in practice, the Government did not uniformly or consistently enforce laws against discrimination.
|Time Off Work ?||
The Worker shall be entitled to a weekly period of rest not less than one day without pay, and in case the Worker is made to work in the weekly rest, he/she shall be entitled to a wage in return for that day equaling the original wage per day plus 50% at least.
|Medical Leave ?||
The Worker whose sickness is recorded in a medical certificate issued by a physician appointed by the Employer or by the attending physician of any government health unit shall be entitled to sick leaves during the year. The sick leaves shall be computed as follows:
|Severance / Redundancy Pay ?||
The party terminating the contract may pay to the other party compensation in return for the notification equaling the wage due to the Worker for the period determined for the notification.
If the labor contract concluded with a definite period and is terminated by one party and the contract fails to mention anything dealing with such case, the party terminating the contract shall compensate the other party for damages. If such termination is initiated by the Employer and for reasons other than those prescribed, the Employer shall be obliged to compensate the Worker for any damage in accordance with the customary practices and work nature, the period of the contract, and in general the conditions where the damage is made certain and the scope of such damage, provided that the amount of compensation shall not by any means exceed the value of the remainder of the wage due to the Worker for the remaining period of the contract. If the termination is initiated by the Worker, the Worker shall be obliged to compensate the Employer for the loss that the Employer incurred as a result of the termination of the contract.
|Termination of Employment ?||
If the labor contract is for an indefinite period, each of the two parties may terminate it on condition of notifying the other party in writing of such termination.
The notification shall be provided as follows:
Compliance with local employment requirements is just one of the issues foreign companies face when employing staff in Kuwait. For companies, which intend to employ their staff directly through their incorporated Kuwait entity, professional legal advice is recommended. Shield GEO provides an alternative path for companies to outsource the employment of their staff in Kuwait.
As a Global Employer Organization (GEO), Shield GEO acts as the Employer of Record and ensures the employment is compliant with host country regulations regarding employment. In addition Shield GEO will handle payroll processing, tax and immigration. Using Shield GEO is the fastest and most cost effective way to deploy local and foreign workers into Kuwait.
The Shield GEO solution is an attractive alternative where
– the company is looking to employ staff quickly
– the company doesn’t have an appropriately incorporated entity in Kuwait
– the company wants to work within a defined budget
– the company wants to limit its initial commitment in Kuwait
– the company needs help with tax, employment, immigration and payroll compliance in Kuwait
Shield GEO can contract directly with the company to employ and payroll their staff in Kuwait. Shield GEO supplies local employment contracts for the staff which ensure that local statutory requirements are met covering issues such as termination, probation periods, leave entitlements and statutory benefits. Shield GEO is able to advise companies how to cover local employment regulations whilst still providing consistent global employment policies. Understand more about outsourced employment through Shield GEO.
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