Pregnant Kuwaiti women at 30 weeks can now avail of sick leave.
21 November 2023, 12:00 AM
31 December 2023, 12:00 AM
Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, has announced the approval of a ministerial decision by Health Minister Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadhi. This decision grants pregnant Kuwaiti women, whose pregnancy has reached 30 weeks, the right to sick leave for the remainder of their pregnancy, provided there are no complications. This decision is contingent upon the evaluation of a specialized committee in the obstetrics and gynecology departments.
The reason behind this decision is rooted in the commitment of the Ministry of Health and the Council of Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments to ensure the well-being of pregnant women.
The nature of certain professional activities may be incompatible with the advancing stages of pregnancy, necessitating measures to safeguard the physical and psychological health of pregnant women and the safety of the fetus.
Previously, pregnant women seeking sick leave had to navigate a complex process involving medical reports, employer approvals, and multiple committee reviews, taking about a month. With the new decision, the process is streamlined. Pregnant Kuwaiti citizens at 30 weeks or beyond can now directly submit a request to the General Medical Council, accompanied by evidence of the pregnancy duration, without the need for employer intervention.
It’s important to note that sick leave remains optional, allowing women to decide whether they wish to continue working without requesting leave or opt for a reduction in working hours during the final weeks of pregnancy.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad clarified that the current application process involves filling out a paper form at the General Medical Council, with leave calculated from the date of submission. In the future, applications will be accepted through electronic means.
The decision specifically addresses pregnancies exceeding 30 weeks. For pregnancies below this threshold, strict criteria apply, with sick leave granted to eligible cases or those experiencing pregnancy-related complications. This includes conditions such as irregular blood pressure, placental issues, a history of premature births, or multiple pregnancies due to medical reasons, such as twins or triplets.