Kuwait Revamps Domestic Worker Recruitment with Streamlined Process and Worker Protections

Kuwait has unveiled a revamped system for recruiting domestic workers, aiming to both simplify the process for employers and strengthen protections for migrant employees. The new regulations, announced by the Kuwaiti government, address longstanding concerns regarding worker exploitation and aim to bring greater transparency to the recruitment process.

Previously, recruitment fees for domestic workers varied widely and could be a significant financial burden for both employers and workers. The new system dictates capped fees that encompass not only recruitment costs but also travel expenses incurred by the worker. This standardization aims to eliminate hidden charges and ensure a fairer arrangement for all parties involved.

Another key aspect of the reform pertains to transferring domestic workers between employers. The newly outlined procedures establish clear guidelines and financial requirements that must be met before a transfer can be authorized. This aims to prevent situations where workers are forced to change employers against their will.

Furthermore, the Kuwaiti government has initiated a program to facilitate the transfer of domestic worker visas to regular work visas under specific conditions. This pathway offers domestic workers the potential to transition into different sectors of the Kuwaiti workforce, should they choose to do so. The specific details and eligibility requirements for such transfers are still being finalized.

The reforms come amidst ongoing international scrutiny of labor practices in the Middle East, with domestic workers – a substantial portion of the migrant workforce – being particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Kuwait's move towards a more standardized and regulated recruitment system is a significant step in addressing these concerns.

The new regulations are expected to come into effect in mid-July. The Kuwaiti government has also announced the upcoming launch of applications for recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines and Ethiopia. These initiatives, coupled with the revamped recruitment process, suggest a broader effort by Kuwait to improve working conditions for domestic workers within the country.

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