The criminal court yesterday sentenced 30 Kuwaiti women, mainly housewives, to one year with labor and a KD 1,000 fine each for unlawfully claiming national labor support allowance (known locally as dam amala) for two years. The ruling also included repaying all the sums they received. The accused had nominally registered their names as employees in a private sector company without actually working for it. The company owner was also sentenced to one year with labor. The sentence is not final as it can be challenged.
Around 80 percent of Kuwait’s national workforce of 360,000 is employed by the government, which offers higher pay and fewer working hours. Under the national labor support program, the government pays a monthly salary to all Kuwaitis who take up jobs in the private sector. The state spends more than $700 million a year on the scheme.