Ramadan Mubarak everyone! The Muslim holy month of fasting is coming upon us this week. Ramadan is supposed to be a time of discipline, family bonds and forgiveness. It is also a time for us to reflect personally and also hopefully to reflect as a society together on how we can connect with each other in a more positive environment. I just wanted to wish you all a happy Ramadan, and here are a couple of common questions by my readers:
Working hours in Ramadan
Question: Is it true that working hours are reduced in Ramadan, and if so by how many hours? Also, are the reduced hours and employment benefits only for Muslims under Kuwaiti law?
Fajer: Yes, the hours are reduced to six hours according to the Kuwait labor law article 64, which states: “It is forbidden to allow workers to work for more than 48 hours per week or eight hours a day, except in such events as are specified in this law. Working hours during the month of Ramadan shall be equal to 36 hours per week” for employees working six days a week, ie six hours per day. This is for both Muslim and non-Muslim workers.
Laws to follow in Ramadan
Question: I am confused on whether I can eat in public or not, and I am not sure what the punishment is. Is it only a fine or do I go to jail until Eid? Also, can I get deported?
Fajer: Law no 44 of 1968 dictates punishments under the law for eating or drinking in public in Ramadan. The law states the following punishment:
Punishment up to KD100 and/or jail for up to one month
i) for anyone that eats/drinks in public in during daytime in Ramadan
ii) for anyone that assists anyone to eat/drink in daytime during Ramadan
The punishment is up to one month in jail. So theoretically speaking, someone may be punished on the first day of Ramadan until Eid, but I would think that from a realistic point of view, for first-time offenders, only a fine will be imposed.
As to answer your question on whether or not you can get deported for eating or drinking in public, under Kuwaiti law, you can get deported for committing any criminal offense – eating in public during daytime in Ramadan is a criminal offense.
As for commercial businesses that are caught serving food/beverages to the public during daytime in Ramadan, they will be punished by having their business sites shut down for two months.
If you have a concern, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed