Kuwait cuts 1,431 foreign public sector workers in Q2

The government wants to fully Kuwaitise government jobs by 2022



Kuwait has reportedly made 1,431 foreign public sector workers redundant over the last three months under a drive to replace expats with citizens.

Kuwait Times cited Civil Service Commission (CSC) statistics as confirming the cuts, with a total of 1,629 foreign public sector workers laid off in the first half of the year.

Reports indicated in April that the government aims to lay off just over 3,100 foreign staff in 2018.

Read: Kuwait to cut 3,100 foreign staff in public sector this fiscal year

In comparison, only 666 expat staff in the government sector were cut last year.

Under the government’s wider plans, a number of public sector job categories are to be occupied solely by Kuwaitis by 2022.

The head of the National Assembly’s committee for the replacement of expatriates in the public sector, MP Khalil Al-Saleh, said in March that lawmakers wanted the roughly 80,000 foreign workers in government roles replaced by citizens over the next five years.

Read: Kuwait committee wants 80,000 foreign staff replaced in public sector by 2023

However, there are concerns that replacements are not happening fast enough.

The panel said on Monday that that it had decided to summon minister of social affairs and labour Hind Al-Sabeeh and minister of state for cabinet affairs Anas Al-Saleh to discuss the government’s commitment to the timeline.

MP Safa Al-Hashem said she wanted ministers to provide detailed replacement percentages and information on government agencies’ compliance, according to Kuwait Times.

The CSC report indicated the public sector workforce stood at 352,169 people as of July 1, following an increase of 2,478 Kuwaiti employees in the second quarter.

Kuwaiti staff made up 76.13 per cent of the public sector workforce, or 268,100, compared to 4,521 GCC nationals, 48,180 Arabs and 31,368 non-Arabs.