Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Administrative Affairs, Marzouq Al-Rashidi, issued a circular, which ordered the return of all ministry employees to the regular official working system from March 13 onwards.
According to a circular issued by the Civil Services Commission, meetings, conferences, and internal courses will be held with the participation of concerned officials, starting from, February 20.
It implied an end of virtual meetings, reduction of employees in government institutions and an end to flexible working hours and schedules.
The circular pointed out the cancellation of all cases of exemption from work, and the employee’s absence from work should only be on the basis of the legally authorized leaves.
The circular also stated the abolition of the flexible working systems and the rotation system, and the return to work in 100 per cent capacity and return of the fingerprint attendance system as per the decision issued in this regard.
The flexibility of Working Hours
Previously in November 2021, MO Mohammad Al-Huwaila proposed a reduction of working hours for public sector employees and gave workers the option to have more flexible working hours or a choice of part-time work.
He said that there are studies that support the argument that reducing working hours could improve the services and productivity of the workers. He also stressed that the current system forces workers to focus mainly on working hours instead of productivity because attendance remains the main standard for performance assessment.
Kuwait labour law states that workers shall not be required to work for more than five consecutive hours a day without a break of a minimum of one hour that is excluded from the working hours. The Financial, commercial and investment sectors shall be excluded from this provision and the working hours shall be equal to eight consecutive hours.
Measures Meant For Covid Times
The Kuwait government has taken a proactive approach by implementing exceptional measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, it was stated that an employer cannot force an employee to take his annual leave during this period. The Labour Law provides that the employer may grant unpaid leave to the employee upon the employee’s request. As such, the employer may not force the employee to take unpaid leave without the employee’s consent.
Kuwait Labour Law
As per Kuwait Law, an employee is entitled to 30 days’ annual leave. The employee may accumulate the same, provided that the leave does not exceed two years. The employee will be entitled to take his accumulated leave all at once subject to the employer’s approval. The annual leave can be accumulated for more than two years with the consent of both parties.
Employees are entitled to the following annual sick leave:
First fifteen days on full pay
Additional ten days on 75% pay
Additional ten days on 50% pay
Additional ten days on 25% pay
Additional thirty days without pay
The Labour Law provides that the employee’s remuneration may not be reduced for any reason during his or her period of service. It further stipulates that an employer shall pay the employee’s remuneration during periods when the work of the establishment is totally or partially suspended for any other reason not related to the employee, for as long as they wish to continue to employ the individual.