The protection of workers will be ensured
The move follows findings that domestic workers in the country are being exploited on a large scale using loopholes in the existing domestic labor law. It is hoped that the move to bring them under the National Labor Act will provide the necessary protection to domestic workers. Currently, sponsors employ domestic workers for up to 12 hours a day in many places. With the new change, their working hours will be limited to eight hours. Experts also say that other forms of labor exploitation can be prevented.
The monthly salary will be through the back account only
With the new change, employers will be forced to deposit the domestic worker’s monthly salary into the worker’s own bank account. This will help in detecting salary irregularities and preventing delays. In addition, public holidays and other working days are legally available to workers. It will also ensure the legal protection of domestic workers. Officials said the change would help create a stronger framework for receiving their complaints and taking further action. At the same time, the sources added that these measures will help in resolving issues in the labor sector in coordination with the embassies of the concerned countries. The meeting also discussed the possibility of raising the minimum wage from 75 to 100 dinars in the context of fundamental reforms in the labor market. The two sides also agreed to harness the potential of modern technology in ensuring the safety of workers.
Iqama will be revoked after six months
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry announced that it has reinstated the requirement for the cancellation of iqama for domestic workers residing outside Kuwait for more than six months. Authorities had earlier granted the waiver on humanitarian grounds in the context of Kovid. Officials said the exemption was now being terminated. The six-month period is calculated from December 1, 2021. The special exemption comes as travel restrictions are lifted and access to Kuwait is possible. At the same time, the authorities said, domestic sponsors should file a separate application for extension of iqama in cases where domestic workers have to stay out of the country for more than six months. The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis, officials said. The application must be submitted no later than six months in advance.
Modification of commercial visas is by December 31st only
In addition, the Public Authority for Manpower announced that the opportunity to convert private sector commercial visas into ordinary residence visas will expire by December 31. On November 24, the authority suspended the conversion of commercial visas to ordinary residence visas. Holders of such visas were then allowed by the authorities to quickly switch to residency visas using the existing transfer window. Holders of commercial visas will be deemed to have been revoked if they do not change to a regular residency visa by the end of this month, officials said.