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Kuwait’s housing authority sacks 135 foreign workers, aims to be ‘expat-free’ by May 2021

Kuwait’s housing authority sacks 135 foreign workers, aims to be ‘expat-free’ by May 2021

The decision is part of the government’s strategy to ‘Kuwaitise’ jobs in the public sector

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) has terminated 135 expat employees effective July 1, 2020 as part of plans to completely nationalise its workforce, local media reported.

The move is part of a three-phase plan launched by Rana Al-Fares, Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Housing Affairs, to replace all expat employees in the PAHW with Kuwaiti jobseekers, Kuwait Times reported.

The plan is expected to conclude in April 2021, with the authority aiming to be “expat-free” by the beginning of May 2021, the report added.

Al-Fares said the decision is part of the government’s strategy to ‘Kuwaitise’ jobs in the public sector across roles such as legal, executive and administrative staff, engineers, assistant engineers, engineering drafting supervisors, air-conditioning technicians, services technicians, warehouse, media, lab and accounting personnel, representatives, couriers, drivers, office boys and janitors.

Kuwait is looking to reduce its dependence on foreign workers, with Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah stating earlier this month that the Gulf state would like expat numbers to reduce to 30 per cent of the country’s population – down from 70 per cent at present. That would require cutting down the number of foreign workers by around 2.5 million.

Read: Kuwait doesn’t want to be an expat-majority nation anymore

Last week, Kuwait announced plans to ban the employment of expatriates in state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries for the year 2020-21.

The number of special contracts awarded to expats will also be trimmed.

Read: Kuwait will not hire expats in the oil sector – minister

Earlier this month, several lawmakers also revealed plans to propose regulations including a ban on recruiting ‘new expats’ and limiting the duration of residence for foreign workers in the country.

Read more: Kuwaiti MPs mull banning recruitment of ‘new expats’, imposing quotas

 

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