I really wish everyone that is celebrating (or not) a Happy New Year. May this New Year be the beginning of good deeds, better connections and a more balanced work life. I know many people are going on a quick holiday to celebrate the New Year; if you are, then enjoy. Those working on New Year's Day, thank you. Here is a brief on questions that are repeated this time of the year.
Working on New Year's
Question: I am working on New Year and New Year's Eve. Am I entitled to overtime?
Fajer: Article 68 of Kuwait labor law states: "Fully-paid official holidays are as follows:
a- Hegira New Year: 1 day
b- Isra' and Mi'raj day: 1 day
c- Eid Al-Fitr: 3 days
d- Waqfat Arafat: 1 day
e- Eid Al-Adha: 3 days
f- Prophet's Birthday (Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi): 1 day
g- National Day: 1 day
h- Gregorian New Year: 1 day
In the event where a worker is required to work during any of the above-mentioned holidays, he shall be entitled to double remuneration and an additional day off."
I think the law is extremely clear that you should be compensated with double your daily wage, which is your monthly salary divided by 26, as well as an additional day off. With that said, should you agree to two days off or three days off for working on Eid, it is up to you. The court always looks at what is best for the employees, and some employees prefer off days instead of overtime.
One day off
Question: I understand that in Kuwait, we only have one day off for New Year and not New Year's Eve. Is this correct?
Fajer: Yes, as mentioned above, the Gregorian New Year is one day off, but because this year the day off is on a Wednesday, and because Thursday is a day between two off days, many private and public corporations and organizations gave the day off.
I hope the above was helpful. Again, I hope you have a wonderful New Year.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmad