I hope my readers enjoyed the long four day weekend in Kuwait as we celebrated the National and Liberation days. It is a blessing to be able to celebrate Kuwait and all the accomplishments of the country and the people of Kuwait. It is also a great time to look back and contemplate on our weaknesses and try to improve. We are blessed to have access to education, medical care, housing, subsidized food and essentials, and therefore we should use those blessings and that feeling of stability to be able to move the country forward with our work, to be supportive of other cultures, to be creative, to create a nurturing environment and a society that welcomes everyone.
I know there has been a lot of discussions in Kuwait, especially with the Philippine’s recent labor ban, which might be unfortunate in a sense, but is an opportunity for us to discuss other violations that happen so that we can prevent them in the future. I have received a certain question repeatedly in the past two days, and therefore I have decided to dedicate today’s column to answer it.
Question: I was working on Sunday the 25th and Monday the 26th of February, and I requested overtime before my boss scheduled me in for the holidays, but my boss said that since I am not Kuwaiti I am not entitled to any off days. Is this true? Is this holiday exclusive for Kuwaitis?
Fajer: No it is not true, the rights under the Kuwaiti labor law are for all employees working in the private sector; the only right under the law that can be interpreted not benefiting all employees is the Hajj time off or similar rights that are only for Muslims. Another example would be that mourning time for Muslim widowers is four months and 10 days, while it is 21 days for non-Muslims.
As for National and Liberation days, it is a national holiday for everyone and as per article 68 of Kuwait’s labor law, you should be receiving double your daily wage, plus an additional day off to compensate.
Article 68 stipulate the following:
“The fully-paid official holidays are as follows:
a- Islamic New Year: 1 day
b- Isra’ and Mi’raj day: 1 day
c- Eid Al-Fitr: 3 days
d- Waqfat Arafat: 1 day
e- Eid Al-Adha: 3 days
f- Prophet’s Birthday (Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi): 1 day
g- National Day: 1 day
h- Gregorian New Year: 1 day
In the event where the worker is required to work during any of the above mentioned holidays, he shall be entitled to a double remuneration and an additional day off.”
I hope the above helped. If you have a concern, please email us at email@example.com
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed