Kuwait working towards removing 'Kafala' system

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The government is seriously studying the possibility of cancelling the sponsorship (kafeel) system and setting up a mechanism to make the government sponsor all private sector employees and regulate employer-employee relations through contracts to be signed by both sides, with the manpower authority as the sponsor.

According to a report published by Al-Rai Arabic newspaper, a government committee including officials from the social affairs and labour ministry, the interior ministry and the manpower authority, is currently considering this proposal. This move is aimed at preserving the global image of Kuwait in the aspect of human rights.

The report added that the contracts will include articles and provisions to prevent employers from holding employees’ passports and prevent transferring employees to work for others unless they cancel their residency visas and depart the country, with an exception for doctors, engineers, managers and holders of university degrees.

Off late, the number of expatriates in the country has exceeded beyond the normal limits due to lack of implementation of substitution policies (Kuwaitization) and lack of restrictions which in turn encourage the phenomenon of visa trading in the country. As per the latest statistics, the number of Kuwaitis is 30 percent of the total population of Kuwait.

According to report, the employee will be under the sponsorship of the Public Authority for Manpower. The residency card will be held by the sponsor. The employee will be able to travel only if he/she presents such a card at the country exit points.

The contract will prohibit transfer of residency from one employer to another as long as the employee is registered as working for a certain employer. The employee will be obligated to cancel his/her residency and travel in case they refuse to work. This measure is aimed at preventing malicious transfer of residency which will harm the interest of the current employer.

The employee will be presented with a residency card which will be held by the sponsor in order to prevent the employee from travelling outside the country without the permission of the employer. The employee will be able to travel only if he/she presents such a card. This measure will substitute the illegal holding of employees’ passports by the employers. The transfer of salary will be via the bank. In case of disagreement, citizens can report to the Public Authority of Manpower to cancel the sponsorship.

Express your comment on this article

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

@ Prk, What win win situation is this?
If the residency card is held by the employer how can an employee travel for any emergency? if the employer want to harass him, he can hold the card and make him do anything. There will be situation like if you want to go, you have to pay some money. Example is what is happening now in some nursing contracting companies. For release you need to pay them. for NOC you need to pay them.

When the employer is gone outside country, you will have to wait for him to come back. If there is any dispute or if you are not working as he wish, you will be harassed while there is need for emergency or vacation.

akil ahmad
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

old wine in new bottle. the employer shall keep residency card instead of passport. what the use of such a system.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

If you guys are wondering residency cards would be same as holding a passport. lets be clear a card can be disputed and remade with right legal procedure and with embassy.

but without passport you are more helpless. i think its a move in right direction. lets hope they actually implement it.

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017

Brilliant idea.
Certainly this will ensure the employees freedom and value.
Employers will have a pool of labours to choose from with out much trouble.
Win win situation.

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017

Good move! Need to implement immediately.

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017

What is difference between

residency card which will be held by the sponsor in order to prevent the employee from travelling outside the country without the permission of the employer


Holding the employee PP

In either case the employee can not leave the country

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