Kuwait freezes public sector wages

More than 90% of Kuwaitis who work are in the bloated public sector but won’t be getting a pay rise while the gov’t considers new regulations to improve transparency

Image for illustrative purposes only.

Image for illustrative purposes only.

The Kuwaiti government has frozen public sector salaries as it prepares to release new pay guidelines intended to be more transparent.

The new pay scale is expected to create unified standards for paying employees according to their job classification and qualifications, making it more difficult for workers to demand pay increases, bonuses and allowances based on their connections within the department or organisation.

However, it is still some time away, with the proposal to be debated after parliament resumes in October.

More than 90 percent of Kuwaiti citizens who work are in the public sector, which is extremely bloated.

A Kuwait University political professor who has been involved in the new pay scale system and who spoke to Arabian Business in April said public sector productivity was very low and the number of staff could be cut by half, but the country’s vast oil wealth meant giving citizens jobs has become a form of subsidisation.

Workers at the Public Institution for Social Security have been on strike since May 25, calling for better wages and working conditions.

The ongoing strike has forced a total shutdown of the department and on Saturday management warned it would take legal action if employees did not return to work.

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