Kuwait cancels contracts for foreign civil servants

By on 29/08/2018 | Updated on 24/09/2020
The Kuwaiti government wants to employ fewer expatriates in the civil service (Image courtesy: Xiquinho Silva/Flickr-Creative Commons).

Work contracts for more than 3,000 non-Kuwaitis serving in the public sector have been cancelled, in a bid to replace expatriates with nationals in the service.

The announcement was made by Ahmad Al-Jassar, chairman of the Civil Services Commission (CSC) to the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) at the weekend.

The officials served in various ministries, government departments and bodies, and the layoffs are in line with a state policy, outlined last year, to ensure more Kuwaiti people working in the sector, according to KUNA.

There are around 44,572 non-Kuwaitis employed in the civil service, including almost 26,000 in teaching and training, and more than 6,000 in services, 3,500 in law and Islamic affairs, and nearly 3,000 in engineering, it said.

The health and education ministries are currently exempt from the policy due to the difficulty in replacing high numbers of foreigners in the short term, according to regional news service Gulfnews.com.

Expatriates account for around 70% of Kuwait’s population of 4.6 million. Several lawmakers have pushed for reforms that would reduce reliance on expatriates and boost employment opportunities for Kuwaitis, the article in Gulfnews stated. Most Kuwaitis opt for government jobs over those in the private sector to benefit from job security less work pressure, fewer working hours and longer holidays, it added.

About Catherine Early

Catherine is a journalist and editor specialising in government policy and regulation. She writes predominantly about environmental issues and has held permanent roles at the Environmentalist (now known as Transform), the ENDS Report, Planning magazine and Windpower Monthly, and has also written for the Guardian, the Ecologist and China Dialogue. She was a finalist in the Guardian’s International Development Journalism competition 2009, and was part of the team that won PPA Business Magazine of the Year 2011 for Windpower Monthly. She also won an outstanding content award at Haymarket Media Group’s employee awards for data-led stories in Planning magazine. She holds a 2:1 honours degree in English language and literature from Birmingham University.

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