Kuwait to sack expats from public sector

October 30, 2016 6:34 pm

As part of its anti-foreigner backlash, Kuwait is reportedly preparing to sack expats from public sector jobs.

Kuwait is reportedly preparing to launch a plan to give nationals a wider involvement in public sector jobs as concerns are rising over the impacts of a large expatriate workforce in the country. 
Kuwait’s Al-Rai newspaper said in a report that the government plans to keep expats only in specialized jobs that cannot be filled by nationals. 
Al-Rai also echoed concerns as expressed by officials that the number of domestic workers in the Persian Gulf state is already decreasing because of the growing percentage of expats.    
The newspaper added that a dozen recommendations have been devised for the government to enable locals to have a stronger involvement in the country’s job market. 
The recommendations include one that envisages the building of ‘labor cities’ to control the number of expats entering and exiting Kuwait, it reported.
Security authorities would also be able to better monitor foreigners’ actions once they are confined to specified locations, Al-Rai quoted governmental sources as saying as reported by Arabianbusiness.com. 
Other measures on the agenda include travel bans and immediate deportation procedures.
The media earlier reported that the government of Kuwait is preparing to reduce its reliance on imported labor. Accordingly, at least 1 million expats are expected to be pushed out of the country until 2026, The Telegraph reported. 
The country is among six oil-rich Persian Gulf states which are reeling under the impacts of low oil prices.  
Expat workers make up more than two-thirds of the Kuwaiti population. Official figures show there are about 350,000 Kuwaiti workers, although 80 percent of them work in government jobs where salaries are typically higher, the Telegraph wrote in its report published earlier. This presents a huge challenge to Kuwait business leaders in replacing its foreign workforce with locals, it added.
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