Post by Fajer Ahmed
The majority of the emails I get are regarding employment rights or should I say the lack of. I completely understand why I am getting all these questions. I am personally tired of how every time I walk into a store and ask an employee how long their shift is I get ridiculous answers like 8AM to midnight!
I realize how tough it is to go and speak out to your employer about a violation since I’ve been in that situation before. I also realize how bad Kuwait’s reputation has been over the years because of the way employees are being treated.
Recently I was hired by a company to help with some employee issues. The owner of the company stated that he didn’t know how he was supposed to treat his employees so I made an easy to read table with all the obligations of an employer as well as the rights of the employees. The full version of the law is hard-to-read and long so I rewrote it into a more direct and easy to understand language and placed them in a table for you below.
The law articles are mentioned in brackets for easy reference and the full version of the law is available [Here]. Click on the link below to view the rest of the post that includes the easy-to-read the table.
|The bare minimum that needs to be offered to employees by law|
|Work Contract Content||Work contract needs to be in writing and must contain:
a) Signing/effective dates of the contract
b) The amount of remuneration
c) The term of the contract if applicable
d) The nature of work (Article 28)
e) Probation period (Article 22)
Note: Needs to be in writing, but even if it is not written it is deemed to exist!
|Work Contract Copies||3 copies should be signed. One for each of:
3) The Ministry
|Work Contract Language||All employee contracts shall be written in Arabic. Any other language may be translated, but in case of dispute Arabic will prevail. (Article 29)|
|Term of Contract||Can be:
1) Not specified
2) Specified, if so should not exceed 5 years
|Renewal of Contract||If the contracts term is specified and both parties continue to implement it, then the contract is renewed for the same period with the same conditions. (Article 31)
Note: Renewal does not affect the workers entitlement under the previous contract! In other words the employee still deserves his entitlements. (Article 31)
|Probation Period||Needs to be written in the contract and must not exceed 100 days, either party may terminate without notice throughout the probation period. (Article 32)
Note: If the employer is the terminating party then they must pay end of service benifts.
|Maternity Leave||70 days paid leave provided that the employee gives birth within this period. (Article 24)
Note: Employer can not terminate employee on maternity leave
|Breastfeeding||An employee that is breastfeeding shall be entitled to a two hour break everyday (Article 25)|
|An employer in general is not responsible for transportation or accommodation. An employer is only responsible for transportation or cccommodation free of charge if:
a) The employees are working in a remote area
b) If the employees are working on the execution of a government project.
|Penalties||Penalties can not be imposed on an employee unless he/she have been informed in writing of the act attributed to him/her, an investigation is held and their defense is heard. (Article 37)|
|Deduction||An employee’s penalty should not exceed more than five days deduction in one month. If the original punishment exceeds five days, then it is attributed to the next month.
Example: Punishment 10 days deduction. 5 days are deducted in July and another 5 in August (Article 38)
Note: The employer shall keep the proceeds of all deductions from remunerations of workers in a fund allocated for use in the social, economic and cultural matters that benefit the workers. (Article 40)
|Right to Terminate (employee)||The employee shall have the right to terminate his contract without notice and still be entitled to end of service benefits if:
1) The employer is not abiding by the terms in the contract
2) If the worker was assaulted
3) If continuing to work will endanger safety of the employee
4) If the employer cheats, commits a crime or does something morally unacceptable.
|Working Hours||It is forbidden to allow employees to work more than 48 hours a week or 8 hours a day. (Article 64) Workers cannot work more than 5 hours without a 1 hour break minimum that is not included as a working hour. (Article 65)|
|Overtime||The overtime hours shall not exceed:
1) 2 hours a day
2) 3 days a week
3) 180 hours a year or 90 days a year. The employee shall be entitled to a 25% increase pay for the overtime hours. (Article 66)
Example: I make KD10 a day, for working 5 hours, that’s KD2 an hour. So my overtime rate is KD2.5 per hour.
|Weekend||The employee is entitled to a paid weekend which is equal to 24 continuous hours after 6 working days. (Article 67)|
|Official Holidays||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 (Article 68)
Note: If an employee works on a public
holiday, the employee is entitled to double his/her pay and another day off (Article 68)
|Paid Leave||Every employee is entitled to 30 days paid leave after working for 9 months. (Article 70)|
Employees: If you think your rights are being violated, my next post will be about what do to do about it legally.
Employers: If you are in violation of the law, please STOP. Here is a check list for you, please be honest with yourselves. [PDF Document]
Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at email@example.com
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.