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Kuwait readies to expel 370,000 foreign workers

Expatriate workers at a Kuwaiti health ministry containment and screening zone for COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Kuwait City on 15 March 2020 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images]
Expatriate workers at a Kuwaiti health ministry containment and screening zone for COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Kuwait City on 15 March 2020 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images]

Kuwait’s government is working to address the labour market imbalance and its impact on the country’s demographics, a local paper has said, adding that a plan to tackle this will be presented on Saturday.

The Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Maryam Al-Aqeel, will present the action plan during the human resources development meeting.

It will include four basic strategies, the first of which is gradually replacing 160,000 foreign employees with locals and reducing the labour force flow to the government sector, reported Al-Rai newspaper.

The second strategy is to lay off 370,000 workers, including 120,000 residence violators and 150,000 unskilled workers.

READ: 100,000 expats to permanently leave Kuwait by the end of 2020

The third strategy aims to reduce marginal employment – part-time low paying jobs, and raise the quality of employment through a smart recruitment system.

The fourth strategy consists of addressing the demographic imbalance in Kuwait, by reducing temporary work contracts in the government sector by more than 30 per cent, through activating digitalisation.

The World Bank has warned that Kuwait faces its severest economic crisis since the First Gulf War as a result of global closures as a part of the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s economy is heavily reliant on global oil prices which dropped to record levels during the global shut down.

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