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KD 50 max pay increase for expats to be changed

KUWAIT: The Manpower Public Authority is expected to change an order approved recently and sets the maximum annual salary increase an expatriate worker could receive at KD 50. The step comes as part of measures to amend a number of existing regulations and improve the labor market’s quality, Al-Rai daily reported yesterday quoting informed sources.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor had announced the maximum salary increase cap last month based on a request from the Interior Ministry’s General Traffic Department.

The idea was to help reduce traffic jams and issuance of driver’s licenses to expatriates, as well as prevent manipulation in which some people change their job titles or salary in the application to receive a driver’s license.

Expatriates in Kuwait must have a college degree and a minimum of KD 600 to obtain a driver’s license, but there are exception given to people working in certain jobs such as engineers, journalists and company representatives.

The exact details about the expected amendments are not clear yet, but the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that they are likely to provide more flexibility bearing in mind the varying educational levels and fields of work among the expatriate labor force. “Applying the KD 50 maximum increase generally and forcing it on expatriates in all job fields is illogical,” the sources admitted.

On the other hand, they said that the amendments are expected to contain restrictions to prevent exploitation, saying for example that “it is illogical for a work permit to be submitted with a job title as a ‘building janitor’ and a monthly salary of KD 700.” —Al-Rai

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This article was published on 12/07/2015