Plans to allow expats to hold second job
KUWAIT: Ahmed has been employed as a teacher in a government school in Kuwait for many years. But aside from his job as a teacher, he also accepted a part time job in a private firm.
Now, Ahmed has two jobs, earning quite a good amount of money so he can send his children to better schools, save, have fun and enjoy life. Based on the current law, working in two companies, rather than for one employer, is illegal. The state can impose penalties on companies accepting workers who are not under their sponsorship and, subsequently, deport workers.
However, these circumstances could now be avoided if the proposal made by the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to activate article 7 of the labor law allowing employees to work for more than one company is passed. The proposal is being studied by the assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and labor for Labor (MSAL) Jamal AL-Dawsary for possible adoption and implementation soon.
Al-Dawasary said that MSAL would issue a ministerial decree once proper regulations are written. MSAL is expected to enact the proposal due to its significance in providing needed workers for understaffed establishments after work permits were suspended.
Ahmed said once the new regulation is approved, he will be able to sleep well and work freely. Currently, workers from the ministry are being allowed to work in other companies as long as they receive approval from the ministry.
“We are allowed to take on another job as long as we have permission, but I was warned not to get permission by my friend, as it could result in more complications. So I worked with the private company without permission. I am aware that once MSAL discovers my second job, I will be in trouble or even the company I am working for will be in trouble, too. If the proposal is approved, I will be able to work freely without fear or hesitation,” he said.
Taking two jobs in Kuwait is illegal, although many workers are doing this to improve their economic status and, because of the high cost of living and the salary of private companies, which is less than in the government sector. A human resource specialist who spoke with this reporter admits that reality on the ground says there are shortages of staff in almost all sectors because of many contributing factors. “The general attitude of employers and employees nowadays are changing because of the prevailing condition financially, and other related circumstances,” the human resource manager told Kuwait Times. In Kuwait, he said, many factors are contributing to the shortages of staff at many establishments due to the financial crisis, Kuwaitization, and the fact that there are companies that cannot hire staff because of labor restrictions. “Those vacancies can be filled with locally hired laborers without having to bring any workers from abroad”, stressed Al-Dawsary. But he added that special regulations would have to be set to avoid manipulating the decision by companies that bring labor to Kuwait and then leave their workers to search for their own jobs in the local market. The decision would help achieve the state’s development plan that calls for protecting the population formula by hiring expatriate laborers who are already in Kuwait, instead of bringing in new workers. Al-Dawsary said MSAL ministry would be authorized to decide about related regulations, such as receiving the sponsor’s permission to work a part time job. He also noted that a meeting was held with KCCI to study the proposal and discuss suggestions for other regulations.
By Ben Garcia, Staff Writer