La­bor law 85 of 2017 amends law 6 of 2016

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By At­tor­ney Fa­jer Ahmed

Yes­ter­day, new amend­ments to one of Kuwait’s ma­jor laws were pro­mul­gated in the of­fi­cial gazette. Ar­ti­cle 51 and 70 of Kuwait la­bor law 6 of 2016 were amended to pro­vide clearer em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits to Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis alike. There­fore, many of my read­ers have re­quested con­sul­ta­tions re­gard­ing the topic, so I de­cided to write about the law ex­plain­ing the changes and the ways it can be im­ple­mented. This is a great step for­ward, es­pe­cially for non­na­tion­als liv­ing in Kuwait. I have high­lighted the changes by an­swer­ing some of your ques­tions be­low:

Amounts de­ducted

Ques­tion: I heard the new law con­firms that no amounts should be de­ducted from the end of service ben­e­fits or ter­mi­na­tion in­dem­nity. Can you please con­firm this?

Fa­jer: Ar­ti­cle 51 of the Kuwait la­bor law be­fore amend­ment ex­plained the end of service/ter­mi­na­tion in­dem­nity cal­cu­la­tions, and then stated that “the pro­vi­sions of the so­cial se­cu­rity law shall be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion in this re­gard, and the em­ployer shall pay the net dif­fer­ence be­tween the amounts ac­crued due to the sub­scrip­tion of the worker in the so­cial se­cu­rity and to the end of service ben­e­fit”.

This state­ment now has been re­placed with the fol­low­ing (rough trans­la­tion as there is no of­fi­cial English ver­sion yet): “The so­cial se­cu­rity laws should be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion, and the em­ployee is en­ti­tled to his/her full end of service ben­e­fits without de­duct­ing any so­cial se­cu­rity amounts”. This makes a huge dif­fer­ence for Kuwaitis or GCC na­tion­als in Kuwait that are reg­is­tered un­der the so­cial se­cu­rity scheme in Kuwait.

So to an­swer your ques­tion, not all amounts due from an em­ployee to an em­ployer can­not be de­ducted - they can if you have debts due and so on.

45 days

Ques­tion: Is it true that now we can take 45 days off in­stead of 30 a year?

Fa­jer: Ar­ti­cle 70 be­fore the amend­ments used to state: “The worker shall be en­ti­tled to a 30-day paid an­nual leave. How­ever, the worker shall not be en­ti­tled to a leave for the first year of work ex­cept after at least nine months of service for the em­ployer. Of­fi­cial hol­i­days and sick leaves dur­ing the year shall not be counted as an­nual leave. The worker shall be en­ti­tled to a leave for the frac­tions year in pro­por­tion to the pe­riod he spent in ac­tual service, even the first year of service.”

Now it states (rough trans­la­tion as there is no of­fi­cial English ver­sion yet): “The worker shall be en­ti­tled to a 30-day paid an­nual leave. How­ever, the worker shall be en­ti­tled to a leave after six months of service for the em­ployer. Week­ends, of­fi­cial hol­i­days and sick leaves dur­ing the year shall not be counted as an­nual leave. The worker shall be en­ti­tled to a leave for the frac­tions year in pro­por­tion to the pe­riod he spent in ac­tual service, even the first year of service.” We can see two ma­jor amend­ments here: 1. Em­ploy­ees are en­ti­tled to leave after six months in­stead of nine months.

2. Week­ends are no longer cal­cu­lated in the an­nual leave.

So to an­swer your ques­tion, em­ploy­ees are not en­ti­tled to 45 days an­nual leave, but now only five days a week should be de­ducted from their leave (while cur­rently it’s com­mon prac­tice to cal­cu­late Satur­day as a work­ing day when it usu­ally isn’t). This will give the em­ployee six weeks in to­tal a year, if they are tak­ing their an­nual leave at one go.

I hope I have helped ex­plain the law above. If you want to read more, it is avail­able in the July 9 edi­tion of the of­fi­cial gazette of Kuwait un­der law 85 for 2017.

Should you have any ques­tions or con­cerns, or you re­quire a con­sul­ta­tion, please email me at ask@fa­jerthelawyer.com

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