Health & Safety
Employees should be protected from physical hazards and occupational diseases at work. For this reason, employers are obliged to take necessary precautions to protect their employee’s welfare.
Employers are also required to do the following:
– ensure the work area is clean and well ventilated, sufficiently lit and in good sanitary condition
– supply first aids kits in visible areas and within reach of the employees. These kits should contain medicines, antiseptics and bandages.
MSA&L issued resolutions that contain all the detailed standards for these matters. MSA&L consulted the Ministry of the Public Health for these resolutions.
An appropriate transport should be provided by the employer to his employees working in areas not reached by public transport. An appropriate accommodation with drinkable water and means to obtain supplies should also be provided by the employer if his employees are working in areas away from populated areas.
If injuries are acquired by an employee during his working hours or his injuries are related to his work, the employer should report the incident to the local police stations and to MSA&L. The employee that incurred injuries has the right to treatment in any government hospitals or private clinic. This decision is based on what the employer thinks is suitable and the expenses will also be shouldered by the employer. An employee must secure a doctor’s report that states the period of treatment required, any disability caused by the accident, and an employee’s fitness to continue working after the treatment.
A full payment for the first six months will be provided to the injured employee during his treatment. Half payment will provided after six months until the employee dies, recovers or is proven to be permanently disabled.
An employee is entitled to a compensation for injuries related to work. The employee does not have to prove that the employee was at fault as long as the employee is not guilty of gross malpractice or injured himself intentionally.
An employee’s family will have a right to compensation if the employee’s injuries have caused him more than 25% disability or dies. Even if the employee is guilty of gross malpractice, the family will still continue to receive the compensation.
The amount of the compensation is based on the severity of the injury. When the injury results to dead, the compensation is equivalent to the total amount of 1500 days salary or more. The current legal blood money is KD 10,000. For employees with permanent disability, a compensation equivalent to the total amount of 2000 days salary or more will be given. One and one-third times the legal blood money will also be provided.
A percentage of what would be due for a total permanent disability is the calculated compensation for partial permanent disability.
Trade Unions and Dispute Resolutions
Trade Unions formation and activities are strictly controlled. Only one union is allowed to be established for workers in any firm or profession. An employee is not allowed to join more than one union.
To be a union member, an employee must be at least 18 years of age and have a certificate of good conduct from a complete authority. For immigrants, a valid work permit and a Kuwait work experience for 5 consecutive years is required to become a union member.
Kuwaitis are the only persons who have the right to vote in the union’s general assembly. Being elected in the executive board of a union is also restricted to Kuwaitis. Immigrants can only have the right delegated one of themselves as representatives in order to share their views before the executive board.
Collective Labor Disputes
A mandatory procedure should be followed if any dispute arises between the employer and all or some of his employees concerning work related terms. These mandatory procedures are as follow:
– direct negotiation between employer and employees must take place. Once agreement is reached, it must be registered with the MSA&L within seven days
– If there is no agreement, MSA&L will be requested by both parties to intervene
– If the dispute is not settled within 15 days with the intervention of MSA&L, the dispute must be forwarded to the Labor Disputes Arbitration Committee in the courts. Once it reaches the court, the employer or his representative and the employee’s representative may appear before the committee. Each party is allowed to have a maximum of three representatives each. Any decision made by the committee is final and binding.