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33 percent of expat workers lose jobs at Kuwait Housing Agency

17 June 2020

The contracts of 135 expatriates (33 percent) of the total expatriate workers in a Kuwait housing agency have had their contracts terminated, as part of a plan to ‘Kuwaitise’ the employment in one year.

The Minster of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of Public Works, Rana Al Faris, in a letter said that a three-phase plan is underway to replace expat workforce with Kuwaitis at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare.

This exercise will take about a year, and each phase will see the termination of services of 33 percent of the agency’s total expat workforce of 398 employees. The replacement plan, however, excludes foreign employees whose mothers are Kuwaitis and the stateless staff.

The Minister has already halted hiring of non-Kuwaitis, and also non-renewal of foreign employees at the authority and is planning to train Kuwaitis to substitute them.

In the recent past, several Kuwaiti public figures have demanded reducing expat numbers, particularly, unskilled labour in the country, accusing them of straining the country’s health facilities and increasing the COVID-19 threat.

Expats account for about 3.4million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population. The Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Shaikh Sabah Al Khalid this month said that expats in the country would be reduced by 70 percent of their total population in order to address the demographic imbalance in Kuwait.

Campaigns are being organized to replace migrant workers in Kuwait, as the economy begins to feel the pinch of COVID-19 crisis.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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