Kuwaiti public sector employees claimed more than 120,000 sick days during the holy month of Ramadan and in the four days immediately after the recent Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which cost the state over $11m in lost productivity, official figures showed.
Statistics from the Civil Service Commission revealed 25,048 sick leave notes were issued to 12,372 employees between August 12 and 15, just after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, the Al-Watan daily newspaper reported. The loss in productivity cost the state KD500,960 ($1,761,464), the commission said.
At the same time, statistics showed 96,116 sick days were taken by 42,231 government employees during the holy month of Ramadan, resulting in a loss of productivity costing around KD2,633,460 ($9,259,711), the statistics showed.
Kuwait has been trying to clampdown on the number of sick days claimed by its more than 435,000 government employees. Despite a new database being put in place to monitor their issuance, and those claiming them, there have been allegations of employees taking sick days illegally or having them signed off by unscrupulously medical doctors, the Kuwait Times newspaper said.
The figures come as it was announced in July the Gulf state’s 2013/2014 budget would result in spending of KD21bn ($73.7bn) and a deficit of KD2.9bn ($10.2bn). Kuwait has a native population of 1.22 million in addition to 2.7 million foreigners.