Kuwaiti panel fine-tunes draft labor law


In article 45 which bans the arbitrary dismissal of workers, the committee added that laborers must not be sacked because of their gender, race or religion. It also amended article 22 to state that employers must set up a nursery for children of female employees under four years of age provided the number of women workers is more than 200 instead of 50 in the original bill. It also amended article 62 to state that laborers will not be asked to work for more than 48 hours weekly or eight hours daily. Jassar
said the committee will hold other meetings to complete any required amendments to the bill in order for it to be ready for the expected debate on Nov 17.

The Assembly has decided to discuss the issue of consumer loans and the second and final reading of the labor law next Tuesday. The new labor bill grants new important benefits to workers including more public holidays, annual leaves and other rights, especially end of service indemnity.

In another development, five lawmakers yesterday submitted two draft laws calling on the government to set up public shareholding companies for building oil refineries and power and water desalination plants. The two bills state that up to 24 percent stake of the companies will be allocated to a government agency and 50 percent will be offered to Kuwaiti citizens in an initial public offering.

The remaining 26 percent will be sold in an auction to specialized local and foreign firms as strategic investors. The bill allows the government to concede part or all its stake to the strategic investor so its stake can go up to 50 percent. The new public companies will be assigned to build, run and carry out maintenance work of oil refineries and power and water desalination plants.

MP Khaled Al-Tahous meanwhile warned that his threat to grill the prime minister over pollution at Umm Al-Haiman is serious. Tahous told reporters that he and a number of other MPs have given the prime minister until Dec 21 to find a solution to the pollution in Umm Al-Haiman, located in the heart of the oil-rich center of Kuwait. He said that some influential people are putting pressure on the government to obtain land plots in the area to establish new factories despite the high pollution levels that are impacting the health of the residents.

On his part, MP Mubarak Al-Waalan sent 85 new questions to the Minister of Public Works and Municipality Fadhel Al-Safar about alleged violations in the two ministries. In the past two weeks, Waalan has sent more than 250 questions to Safar over similar allegations and threatened he will file to grill him soon after the Nov 17 session on consumer loans.


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