The lawmakers on Wednesday moved past the first reading after they approved the draft that suggested a 35-day annual leave instead of the current 30 days in the private sector. Image Credit: File photo

Manama: Annual leaves in Kuwait’s private sector will increase to 35 days if a recommendation to amend the labour law gets a two-step clearance from the parliament.

The lawmakers on Wednesday moved past the first reading after they approved the draft that suggested a 35-day annual leave instead of the current 30 days in the private sector.

The amendment will become binding after the lawmakers pass it in their second reading as per the bylaws. No date has been set yet for the historic measure.

A parliamentary committee had recommended amending the labour law in the private sector by increasing annual leave days and granting bonuses retroactive to 2010 to workers at the end of their contracts.

The leave amendments will apply to both Kuwaitis and expatriates, but the remunerations at the end of service will be only for Kuwaitis and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens working in the private sector and registered in the Kuwaiti social insurance scheme.

The remunerations will be in full, without the deduction of insurance contributions.

State Minister for Economic Affairs Maryam Al Aqeel objected to the retroactive bonus, telling the lawmakers that some companies would not be able to pay them.

However, at the end of a short debate, 45 lawmakers approved the annual leave increase amendment and the bonus that needed 33 votes to pass.

MP Osama Al Shaheen, the rapporteur of the committee, said that the retroactive bonus would be granted to those who resigned after 2010.

However, the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed in a statement concerns about the retroactive bonuses, saying they would affect the financial status of companies and institutions and violate the rights and obligations arising from the contracts.

“The increase in annual leave would benefit more than 1.7 million non-Kuwaiti workers, which would lead to an increase in labour and production costs in Kuwait by 15 per cent in monthly wages and end of service,” a spokesperson for the chamber said, quoted by Al Qabas daily.

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