Director of Labor Department in Farwaniya Governorate Yusuf Arti revealed the number of transactions completed daily in all labor sectors in the governorate ranges from 700 to 800 while there are only slightly more than 100 employees.
In an interview, Arti said the number of employees is small compared to the work load especially when some of them are on leave. He disclosed many of the complaints are about delays in completing transactions, indicating “we need more studies on decisions pertaining to work permits, kinds of workers entering the labor market, and the actual number of required manpower.”
He added, “When the law on Kuwaitis constituting 25 percent of the total workforce in every file was implemented, we faced several problems because we deal with high caliber companies. Some of these companies need a big number of workers and others don’t, so we are not supposed to deal with all these companies using similar standards.” He also underscored the importance of implementing labor-related laws gradually to ensure the objective is met. On the services offered by the labor department, he affirmed the Farwaniya Labor Department is the biggest. It deals with the private sector and it handles transactions related to work permits, financial guarantees, transfer, renewal and update of labor information, among other procedures.
According to the latest statistics, the number of files handled by the department is 34,900 and there is continuous operation in terms of getting rid of files that no longer require review in the future. Around 1,000 files will be destroyed soon. On the Internet portal, Arti affirmed the portal will be operational soon, indicating it will reduce the crowd and work load in the department. He unveiled a plan to link the labor departments with various government agencies and ministries, in addition to the proposed appoint of representatives of government agencies in the labor department, similar to that of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He explained the main task of the representatives is to coordinate work procedures between institutions.
Asked about the issue of giving gifts to complete transactions, Arti emphasized the fact that any employee in the labor department found to be asking clients about their companies and to avail services offered by these companies for free will be referred for investigation.
He disclosed “a cleaning worker in our department submitted his papers late but his transaction was completed earlier than those who applied before him. It was later discovered that the cleaner gave KD 6 to the employee in charge of his transaction. Also, a security guard in the department gave cash to a female employee to expedite completion of a transaction. The security guard was reported and his company transferred him to another institution.”
On human trafficking by some companies, Arti clarified the Labor Inspection Department is in charge of such cases. “We encourage this department to cooperate more with us, because when you look at areas like Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, there is a clear indication that something is wrong. On the transfer of domestic labor visa to Article 18, Arti pointed out the department is gearing towards opening the door for domestic workers to transfer to the private sector, in addition to other decisions that are yet to be endorsed in the interest of the private sector and the citizens in general.
He also stressed the importance of security cameras (CCTV) installed in different parts of the department, particularly the crowded areas, in order to ease procedures for those in charge of these areas. “These cameras help supervisors in identifying reasons behind long queues, sometimes caused by the unnecessary absence of an employee as this puts pressure on other employees. Nonetheless, some employees are against the installation of security cameras, claiming it is a violation of their privacy.”