Concerns grow over Kuwaiti law for foreign workers

16 September 2009

Overseas employees can change jobs more easily but will increase sponsorship firms’ costs

A new law which allows foreign workers in Kuwait to switch between jobs without their employers’ consent will increase the cost and risk to employers of hiring overseas staff, according to a prominent lawyer in the country.

“Many employers incur significant costs to recruit, transport, sponsor and train foreign workers,” said Dr Ahmad al-Samdan on 15 September.

“The impact of the sponsorship resolution may be to increase such costs to Kuwaiti sponsors since the employees now have the right to transfer to a different sponsor if they have been employed for four years.”

Kuwait’s Social Affairs & Labour Ministry issued a resolution on 9 August giving foreign employees the right to transfer sponsorship from one employer to another without the consent of their former sponsor.

To transfer sponsorship, the employee must have worked for the same sponsor for three years, rather than five years as was required in a previous resolution.

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