Cairo: Terms for leave encashment unveiled by the Kuwaiti government for state employees have increasingly drawn opposition from lawmakers, who deemed them crippling.
The contested terms, among other things, restrict the encashment to Kuwaiti civil servants and make it valid once every 10 years per employee.
For MP Abdul Karim Al Kandari, the 10-year restriction virtually makes leave encashment inaccessible.
“The Civil Service Commission’s amendment of eligibility rules by making it (the encashment) conditional for one time every 10 years means unofficially putting on hold the availability of this exchange,” he said.
“It bets on the time factor. The commission has to go back on this amendment and stop playing with civil servants’ rights,” Al Kandari added.
MP Abdullah Fahad slammed what he called the“crippling conditions” for implementing the new rule. “This latest amendment implies a deliberate waste of the Kuwaiti civil servant’s rights,” he said.
Branding the decree as unfair, he said: “It comes at a time when citizens are suffering from living burdens and high prices. This policy tightening the noose on people in various forms will not pass because citizens and their interests are a red line.”
Meanwhile, MP Mubarak Al Tasha called for rephrasing the controversial amendment to alleviate life burdens for Kuwaitis. “The 10-year condition for encashing leave is invalid because it contradicts rights gained by civil servants in general,” he said. Last week, the Kuwaiti Civil Service Commission unveiled new regulations for civil servants to get a cash allowance in return for their unused leave.
The new rules also stipulate that the eligible employee must have got at least an evaluation of very good in the last three performance assessment reports and have worked at the same government agency for at least three years prior to the date of issuing a decree entitling him/her to the leave-for-cash swap.
In the same vein, the eligible employee should not have been subjected to a disciplinary penalty.
Allowing government employees to exchange their accrued leave for money has long been an issue of public debate in Kuwait.
In April last year, the Kuwaiti government issued a decree permitting civil servants to be paid in return for their unused leave.
In June of that year, it was reported that the scheme will apply to all government employees including expatriates.
Foreigners make up around 3.2 million of Kuwait’s overall population of 4.6 million.