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Kuwait Times, Sunday, Mar 12, 2023 | Sha'ban 20, 1444

KCCI discusses easy expat transfers within Kuwaiti market

Kuwait: In the presence of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of facilitating the transfer of expatriate workers within the Kuwaiti market. The meeting complements efforts by KCCI along with ILO to deal with challenges facing the Kuwaiti labor market, which were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current and future needs of the market, according to the KCCI report.

The chamber stressed the issue of the transfer of expatriate labor within the local market has two sides – those who agree with facilitating the transfer of workers and increasing freedom of movement between employers, especially considering the difficulty of recruiting new workers from abroad. On the other hand, some believe that in light of competition between sectors, companies and institutions to attract competencies and cover the shortage in the supply of labor, controls should be put in place on transfers so that an employer does not lose what he invested in his workers in terms of training, refining skills and recruitment costs.

The meeting also discussed social protection for expatriate workers in Kuwait, guaranteed by law no. 6 of 2010 regarding work in the private sector, which protects the worker through many means, including the obligation to set a minimum wage and giving a worker a period of three months worker before terminating their services. It also spoke about end-of-service gratuity and keenness of the Public Authority of Manpower and Kuwaiti banks to transfer salaries to workers on the scheduled dates.

During the meeting, representatives of small and medium enterprises touched on the difficulties they face regarding end-of-service benefits after the pandemic, as the pandemic and its repercussions stopped the financial flows of many projects that were just starting.

Meanwhile, KCCI declared it will issue a report including the results of what has been discussed, as well as the results of a questionnaire that the chamber previously distributed to its members in the last week of Feb 2023 to better identify the views of companies in Kuwait regarding the issue of labor transfers and the required reforms, in addition to getting acquainted with the opinion of companies about the current social protection systems for expatriate workers.

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