Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC) has reportedly reintroduced a requirement for foreign public sector staff to leave the country before paying their end of service gratuity.
The move comes amid a government drive to replace foreign workers in government roles with Kuwaitis. A total of 1,629 were laid off in the first half of the year.
Kuwait Times cited sources as confirming the CSC is now asking expats to submit proof of leaving the country before paying their dues.
It has asked ministries and other state departments to send the names of terminated workers, who must cancel their residency and submit a departure notice to be paid.
The decision means foreign public sector staff will not receive their end of service benefits, which are paid in place of a pension scheme based on years worked, if they switch to the private sector in Kuwait, a source told the publication.
The commission is writing to the ‘concerned authorities’ to proactively block any attempt by terminated workers to change sponsor inside the country.
However, the option is still open for them to leave the country and return for private sector work later.
Under the government’s wider plans, a number of public sector job categories are to be occupied solely by Kuwaitis by the end of 2022.
This year, the government has a target of laying off just over 3,100 foreign staff from only 666 last year, according to reports in April.
The are 268,100 Kuwaitis in the public sector compared to 4,521 GCC nationals, 48,180 Arabs and 31,368 non-Arabs.