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Rampant violations of new work hour restrictions uncovered

Numerous violations by private housing plot owners under construction were uncovered, including pouring concrete, bringing materials to grilling sites, violating curfew hours, and working directly under the sun.

  • The Public Authority for Manpower prohibits employing workers in open areas from 11 am to 4 pm starting this month until the end of August.

  • The housing voucher owner is responsible for violations if they hire daily workers, with fines of 100 to 200 dinars per worker for each violation.

After the Public Authority for Manpower announced Administrative Resolution No. 535/2015, which prohibits employing workers in open areas from 11 am to 4 pm starting this month until the end of August, Al-Jarida newspaper conducted a tour of some areas in the Capital Governorate.

The purpose of the tour was to assess how well business owners, private sector companies, and those linked to government contracts were adhering to the resolution.

The tour revealed several violations by private housing plot owners ‘under construction’, ranging from pouring concrete and bringing materials to grilling sites, to other violations occurring during curfew hours and directly under the blazing sun.

This occurred amidst the General Department of Meteorology’s announcement of a ‘noticeable increase’ in temperatures during the current period.

Sources within the authority confirmed to Al-Jarida newspaper that the owner of the housing voucher would be liable for prescribed violations if they employ daily workers. These violations incur fines ranging between 100 and 200 dinars for each worker involved in the violation. They urged voucher owners to prevent workers from working in any open site during the specified period.

The decision’s effective hours are from eleven in the morning until four in the afternoon. The tour also revealed that a significant percentage of workers violating the decision are domestic workers under Article 20. This raises concerns about the increasing trend of this labor entering the private sector job market, taking advantage of the current acute shortage of skilled and professional labor. The sources confirmed this worrying trend.

The authority said it will not tolerate any violations of the decision, particularly those related to employing workers in violation of residency and labor laws. Necessary measures will be taken against such violators to ensure the safety of workers, especially during the hot season.

Additionally, sources mentioned that working in open areas during this period of the year is challenging, and there is no objection to compensating for the decision’s validity period by working in the early hours of the morning or after four in the afternoon.

The inspection teams will issue a warning for the first violation, followed by re-inspection. If the violation persists, a notice will be issued, and the case will be referred to the General Department of Investigations at the Ministry of Interior, which will then refer it to the judiciary.

The authority emphasized its commitment to implementing the decision, reflecting Kuwait’s dedication to upholding international labor standards. This commitment has been well-received by several companies in recent years, as it aligns with public interest and Kuwait’s international obligations to protect the rights of expatriate workers.

It’s worth noting that the decision complies with Article No. 64 of the ‘Private Work’ Law, which authorizes the Minister to issue decisions to reduce working hours in strenuous or hazardous work conditions without compromising project deadlines or incurring delay damages.

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