A new labor law to expand rights for workers has been approved in principle by the Kuwaiti Parliament. The law is expected to replace a 45-year-old law, which has been under revision in Parliament for over a decade and was seen as being favorable to employers over employees.
The main provisions of the law are:
- Paid vacation will be extended from 15 to 30 days, excluding public holidays, for all private sector employees regardless of the duration of their service.
- New maternity leave provisions allow women to take 70 days of maternity leave without specifying as the previous law did that 30 days should be taken before and 40 days after delivery. Women are also entitled to an additional period of four months leave without pay.
- There will be tougher penalties, including possible jail terms, for employers who trade in visas, do not provide jobs to expatriate workers that they have recruited or do not pay salaries regularly.
- A minimum wage will be introduced for certain jobs, especially in lower-paid sectors.