Kuwait gov’t department 'to axe 60 percent of expats'

Move is part of broader raft of measures to shrink foreign workforce
Kuwait
By Staff writer
Thu 14 Apr 2016 12:16 PM

Kuwait Municipality is reportedly preparing to lay off at least 60 percent of expat employees – the latest in an aggressive campaign to cut numbers of foreign residents in the country.

The municipality’s financial and administrative division plans to review expats’ contracts, positions and qualifications with a view to making some of them redundant, in particular those who do not show up to work regularly, fail to do their job duties or hold fake degrees, according to Kuwait Times.

Official sources reportedly claimed that many of the expats had been recruited by ‘wasta’ and enjoyed special privileges their roles do not formally entitle them to.

“This may open the door for terminating around 60 percent of them,” one source was quoted as saying.

It was reported in February that Kuwait’s state departments had been asked to lay off “unnecessary” expats by the end of the year.

The move is one of many attempts to decrease the number of expats in the country, who make up 70 percent of the population.

Last October, the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations ranked Kuwait the least popular of 64 countries for expats to live.

At the time it had been recently reported that Kuwait planned to introduce a cap on expat numbers and restrict them to five years working in the country.

The country was also said to have deported 20,000 expats in the first nine months of 2015, and also vowed to crack down on an estimated 115,000 believed to have flouted labour and residency laws.

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