According to local newspaper reports, Kuwait’s Interior Minister has approved draft residency law amendments. The aim is to reduce the numbers of non-Kuwaitis employed in the country. The focus will be on skilled migrants rather than manual workers. There will also be limits on the number of foreign nationals recruited by companies each year and regulations based on their skills will be included. The legislation will be ready by October. It is part of efforts to reduce the numbers of expatriates in the country from 70 to 30%.
Sources have confirmed Kuwait’s General Authority for Manpower is working on a number of decisions and reviewing old decisions related to regulating the labour market to increase the employment of nationals in the private sector. The sources said this will be achieved by replacing expatriate employees with national employees in many roles. The Authority is also working on setting a workflow for recruitment of foreign employees by increasing the restrictions. The Decisions have been sent to the board to review and approve.
Kuwait is considering a draft bill to amend the labour law in the civil sector in order to allow companies which have been impacted by COVID-19 to agree with their employees to reduce their salaries during the crisis. The government has referred the draft bill to the parliamentary financial committee which is looking at remedying the impact of the coronavirus on the labour market.
Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has announced it will ask Kuwait Municipality to allow some air conditioning outlets to open. The aim is to meet the anticipated demand as temperatures start to rise in the country. If some outlets are opened, the technicians in those outlets will be allowed to work providing the breakdowns are permanent and it would be difficult to postpone the maintenance work. The Ministry has also announced Kuwait Ministerial Decision No. 96/2020 will be extended for another three months. The Ministerial Decision relates to distributing subsidy items for ration card holders and personal identification cards, like civil and security cards. Elsewhere, the Interior Ministry has announced it has asked the Municipality to allow some garages to open to repair police cars.
The Kuwaiti Central Bank has issued a circular to banks requesting them not to submit their financial data for the first quarter. This circular adds banks to the list of companies that have been exempt from submitting their financial data for the first quarter and postpones it to the second quarter. The Central Bank said that all banks, except the Industrial Bank, will be able to provide their data pursuant to the provisions of Article 82 of Kuwait Law No. 32/1968 on e cash, the central bank of Kuwait, and the regulation of the banking profession and its amendments.
The Kuwaiti Health Ministry has decided to withdraw all medicines containing the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine from private pharmacies and limit them to hospitals and health centres according to the state news agency. According to Undersecretary of Health for Drug and Food Control Affairs the decision has been made to tighten control over the distribution of these medicines and to prevent their misuse or monopoly. Plaquenil which is the brand name for hydroxychloroquine has recently been mentioned in the media as a possible treatment for COVID-19. However, doctors have said it can cause serious side effects or there is a risk of overdose without proper medical guidance.
According to local newspaper reports, some constitutional experts have said some Kuwaiti nationals who have recently returned from Iran are not following the house quarantine rules for those who have not definitively ruled out having Coronavirus. Under Article 17 of Kuwait Law No. 8/1969 (the Health Precautions Law) those who break the house quarantine rules will be jailed for up to one month and/or fined up to 50 Dinars. Those who violate Article 15 of Kuwait Law No. 8/1969 will be jailed for up to three months and/or fined between 50 and 200 Dinars.
The Chairman of the Legislative Committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly has announced MPs will be voting on the draft right to view law next week. They said the law will enable nationals and residents as well as local and civil companies to view all information transparently. Some information like military and security matters will remain classified. The law has been thoroughly discussed with the Justice Minister, Waqf and Islamic Affairs Minister as well as other relevant departments.
- Kuwait Business Law Forum - Fourth Edition
08:30 - 14:00
After the success of previous editions of the Kuwait Business Law Forums, LexisNexis Middle East, in collaboration with Al Yaqout & Al-Fouzan Legal Group, will host the 4th Kuwait Business Law Forum that will cover the latest legal developments and trends in Kuwait.
According to local newspaper reports, Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Minister has issued a Decision establishing an Independent Insurance Unit. It will have seven members, two of which will be full-time and have been appointed by Emiri Decree. It will regulate insurance businesses in the country in line with Article 10 of Kuwait Law No. 125/2019. Among other things, the committee will oversee the sector’s development and supervise it. They will be able to ask experts and consultants it considers appropriate to assist it and they will also be able to establish temporary advisory committees to study a specific topic within their remit.