Kuwait Labour Laws

Kuwait Labour Laws Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

The Kuwait Labour Law is valid whether or not you have a written contract. If you do have a written contract, it will supersede the Labour Law; therefore, it is important to check it carefully. Here are some of the main points of the law.

Contract

This can be verbal but obviously it is preferable to have it in writing. It must be written in Arabic and the employee should keep a copy.

Working Hours

The normal working week is 48 hours, usually 6 eight-hour working days. Overtime or extra-work hours are payable afterwards at the rate of 1.5 times the normal rate and 2 times the rate on holidays.

Holidays

As well as official holidays, all workers are entitled to 14 days holiday after one year. It should be noted that some employers ask their employees to work on national holidays. According to the law, employees are not obliged to do so, and if they agrees to do extra-work hours, they can also ask for overtime at the applicable rate.

Wages and unions

There is no minimum wage, however, female employees must receive equal pay. Trade unions are allowed, but only one union can be formed per establishment and only one per profession or occupation will be recognized.

Other employer responsibilities

Employers are responsible for all safety aspects at work, such as provision of first aid and medical facilities. Industrial injuries must be reported to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour as well as to the local police.
For non-Kuwaiti employees, compensation for industrial injury is provided for in the Labour Law and employers take out private insurance to cover their liability. Termination benefits must also be arranged.
Kuwaiti employees are insured against industrial injury by the Public Institution for Social Security. The employer's contribution is assessed as 2% of the employee's salary.
Transport should be provided to and from the work site if this is far from built-up areas in addition to accommodation for workers in remote areas.

Unemployment

Because all expatriates must be sponsored by a Kuwaiti national or company, there should be no unemployment except for dependants. All unemployed Kuwaitis must register at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour where assistance will be given to help them find employment.

Disputes

If an employer does not meet the requirements of the Kuwait Labour Law, it is possible to file a complaint to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.

Inspections

Inspectors from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour have the authority to visit any work-place to check that regulations are properly being followed.

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