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In recent years, Kuwait has been making efforts to diversify its economy away from oil dependency by investing in sectors like finance, real estate, and tourism.
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Kuwaiti candidates can be proficient in Arabic, which is the official language of the country. If your business involves interacting with Arabic-speaking customers or partners, hiring someone from Kuwait who understands the language and culture can be a significant advantage.
Local candidates often have established networks in Kuwait, which can be useful for business development, finding partners, and making connections within the community.
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In Kuwait, the minimum wages differ based on the nature of the employment position. For instance, in the private and oil sectors, the minimum wage stands at 75 KWD per month.
Standard Working Hours
The working hours vary between 40-48 hours a week. This is dependent on the job role. During Ramadan, the working hours are reduced to six hours per day.
The standard work week is Sunday – Thursday.
The exact length of overtime hours can differ depending on the job type and industry. For accurate and current information regarding Kuwait’s overtime regulations, it is advisable to refer to the Kuwaiti labour laws or get in touch with appropriate authorities.
The maximum over time hours should not exceed 2 hours per day, 3 days per week, or 90 days per year.
The payroll cycle in Kuwait can be bi-weekly, or monthly. This is dependent on job type and industry.
Paid time off
After completing 1 year of service, employees are entitiled to 30 days of paid leave per year.
Employees who have completed a minimum of one month of service are granted the privilege of receiving paid sick pay, subject to 15 days at their full regular salary, 10 days at ¾ of their usual pay rate, 10 days at 1/2 of their typical wage, and a further ten days at 1/4 of their customary compensation.
Alongside these provisions, there is an allowance for a period of 30 days without pay. The employee must be provided with government medical insurance.
Pregnant employees are entitled to 70 days of paid maternity leave, 30 days before the due date, and 40 days after they give birth. Employee may request up to 4 additional months unpaid leave following the end of their maternity leave.
During pregnancy, maternity leave, and the postnatal period, female employees were protected from termination by their employer. Dismissing an employee for reasons related to her pregnancy or maternity leave was considered a violation of the labour law.
There is currently no paternity leave in Kuwait.
Termination of Employment
Termination of a fixed-term contract by employers can occur due to various factors, including business needs, personal reasons, or instances of worker misconduct. The process of termination necessitates both notification and a documented reasoning.
Employers are generally required to provide written notice to employees before terminating their contracts. The length of the notice period depends on the duration of the employment. For example, if the employee has worked for less than 5 years, the notice period is 1 month. If the employee has worked for more than 5 years, the notice period is 2 months.
If the employer terminates the contract without a justifiable reason (except in cases of grave misconduct), they may be required to pay the employee compensation. The compensation amount depends on the length of the employee’s service and the reason for termination.
The notice period is generally 3 months in Kuwait.
An employee can be hired under probationary status for a maximum of 100 days, which needs to be specified in the employment contract.
The hiring of foreign individuals in Kuwait is subject to significant limitations, with the government actively encouraging the employment of Kuwaiti nationals.
Visa rules in Kuwait typically require foreign nationals to obtain a valid visa before entering the country. The specific type of visa needed depends on the purpose of travel, such as work, visit, residence, or tourism. Work visas often require sponsorship from a Kuwaiti employer, while tourist visas are typically obtained for short visits. Kuwait also has various categories of residence permits for expatriates working or living in the country.
There is currently no VAT in Kuwait.