To address the high labor wages and the labor shortage in the country, a meeting held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Yousef Al-Sabah, the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) approved to amend the mechanism for granting work permits, transferring expatriates brought from abroad with work permits, and imposing an additional fee on them, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

PAM’s Board of Directors unanimously decided to amend the mechanism that was previously in place for granting work permits. Employers can now bring in migrant workers from abroad as estimated for their license, instead of the previously set quota of 25 percent for overseas recruitment and 75 percent for local recruitment. This is aimed to reduce the high wages as a result of the labor shortage as well as to develop the business environment. The decision will come into effect as of June 1, 2024. The previous decision obliged business owners, according to their activity categories, to obtain specific permits from abroad and complete recruitment through local hiring. This led to an increase in labor wages and imposed a higher burden on the citizens.

The new decision imposes an additional fee of KD 150 for issuing a work permit for the first time. This is aimed to achieve greater employment stability for employers. It also imposes a fee of KD 300 for the transfer of migrant workers from one company to another if they have not not been in the country for more than three years. In both cases, the employer’s approval is required for the transfer. The decision aims to limit visa-trade and make it easier for employers to carry out their commercial activities and develop the business environment. It is also aimed to reduce the cost and wages of labor, which will contribute to lower costs in the construction and contracting sector and other activities in the country.

In other news, The Public Authority for Manpower has developed a comprehensive program for regular and ongoing inspections of institutions and facilities to ensure compliance with labor laws and specific regulations, reports Al-Anba daily quoting reliable PAM sources. As part of its ongoing awareness campaigns conducted throughout the year via its websites, the Authority has initiated a “Flash” campaign urging employers to adhere to all provisions of the Labor Law and regulations governing the labor market. This includes ensuring that employment contracts are honored and that workers are assigned tasks specified in their work permits by the Authority.

The Authority emphasized that failure to assign tasks as per the work permit could lead to penalties, including imprisonment for up to 3 years and fines ranging between 2,000 and 10,000 dinars per worker, or both. Moreover, the Authority has cautioned business owners against employing workers registered under another employer’s files. Violation of this regulation could result in similar penalties as mentioned above. In another development, the Public Authority for Manpower, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Public Authority for Youth (Work Makers Team), facilitated 137 job opportunities for citizens seeking employment in the private sector. These opportunities arose from government contracts with the Ministry of Health.

During the event, the Authority provided details about the available positions, the nature of work, and addressed queries from applicants. Personal interviews were conducted with 137 job seekers, followed by a training program spanning five weeks for successful applicants. The training program, focused on Ministry of Health contracts, concluded with the hiring of supervisors and first supervisors to oversee cleaning, internal transportation, and waste disposal services. This initiative aligns with PAM’s commitment to promoting employment opportunities for Kuwaiti citizens in the private sector and ensuring job security in government contracts, as outlined in Kuwait’s regulations for the nationalization of government contracts.


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