Kuwait
The Kuwait Municipality has submitted a proposal to replace expat employees from fixed contracts to service based contracts. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Kuwait City: The Kuwait Municipality has submitted a proposal to the Civil Service Commission to replace expat employees from fixed contracts to service based contracts, which is part of a governmental job replacement policy, Al Rai reported.

This decision is part of a larger governmental policy known as Kuwaitization, which aims to create a 100 per cent Kuwaiti public service workforce.

An informed source told Al Rai, “if this proposal is approved it will reduce government spending as the [expat] employee will be hired based on their service needs and their contract can only be renewed with an official letter.”

This is not the first announcement made by the Kuwait Municipality in regards to reducing the number of expat employees. In May, the Minister of State of Municipal Affairs, Waleed Al Jassem, announced that the ministry was working on a plan to replace all expats working in the ministry with Kuwaitis.

In addition, earlier this week Al Jassem ordered the termination of 150 expats working as executives in the municipality.

Kuwaitization

While Kuwaitis make up 1.4 million of the country’s four million population, around 90 per cent of Kuwaiti citizens work in the public sector. Although in December 2019, there were around 120,000 expats working in governmental positions, that number has dropped as there have been massive layoffs in recent months.

The Kuwaitization policy, which was first introduced in 2017, is working towards creating a majority Kuwaiti workforce, in the public sector, by 2021.

According to a recent report by the Civil Service Commission, around 79 per cent of all employees working in the public sector are Kuwaitis, bringing them to a total of 297,335. As for expats, they make up 21 per cent of the workforce as there are a total of 34,347 expats working in the public sector.

Last month, the Civil Service Commission announced that since 2017, 13 out of the 16 government agencies have achieved Kuwaitization.

Back in August, various government agencies began laying off expats, especially those that are working in non-technical fields. Then a few weeks later, around 1,183 job contacts for expats working across 48 governmental agencies were cancelled.

In 2018, around 50,000 expats working in governmental agencies were laid off.