KuwaitOther News

Study to allow expats to change jobs without employer’s consent

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A top official at the Public Authority of Manpower said the authority is considering allowing expat workers to transfer to a new employer without the prior consent of the current employer in case they violate terms of the job contract. Acting deputy director of PAM Fahad Murad said any such move will not be allowed before confirming that the employer has violated terms of the labor contract or provisions of the labor law in the private sector.

Currently, expat workers are not allowed to change jobs before the labor contract expires unless employers allow them to do so. Expats in all Gulf states are linked to their employers under the so-called kafala or sponsorship system. Several Gulf states, including Kuwait, have announced plans to scrap the kafala system but no concrete action has been taken.

Murad told diplomatic representatives in Kuwait that the Public Authority of Manpower is carefully considering a series of measures to facilitate the transfer of expats from one employer to another. He gave no details. He said the authority is acting as a neutral body to ensure the rights of employees and employers.

Murad said there is no plan to seek amendments to the labor law in the private sector, but the authority is collecting notes and information to study if there is a need to amend the law. He said the authority is coordinating with concerned government bodies for the establishment of a shelter for male expats like the existing shelter for females. He gave no timeline for its establishment.

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