Director General of Legal Affairs at Manpower Public Authority Dr Mubarak Al-Jafour says the ban on increasing the salaries of private sector employees by more than KD 50 per year was approved by the concerned agencies with the aim of organizing the labor Market of the country. During an interview, he clarified that this ban on salary increment above KD 50 is applicable to only those who earn less than KD 600 per month.
However, if the employer renews the work contract of the employee for two years, the employer can increase the employee’s salary by KD 100.When asked about the new decisions taken to reorganize the labor Market Dr Al-Jafour said the Manpower Public Authority issued an administrational Decree No. 842/2015 which contains many regulations aimed to organize the process of the transfer of an employee from one employer to another.
He explained that the decisions include one that permits an employee to transfer his sponsorship from one employer to another if he has worked for three consecutive years and has given the employer a three-month notice in accordance to Article 44 of Law No. 6/2010 concerning the private sector. However, if the contract is bound by time, the employee has to complete the time duration of the contract even if it is for more than three years.
Dr Al-Jafour indicated about some cases where the three-year condition does not apply, such as if the employees entered the country on government contracts. “In such a case, their sponsorship cannot be transferred until the expiry of their contracts. In the case of laborers who enter the country on contracts for certain activities such as agriculture, fishing, industrial and rearing of livestock, they cannot transfer their sponsorship outside their field and unless they worked for at least one year”, he explained.
Meanwhile, Dr Al-Jafour revealed that the new unified work contract will come into effect from the beginning of year 2016. He affirmed that, “If the contract has a time limit, it should not be less than one year and more than five years. In addition, the contract signed by both parties automatically renews itself when the period of contract ends, provided both parties agree on the same terms and conditions of that contract, which is in accordance with Article 31 of the unified work contract law”.
When asked about absconding reports filed against employees by employers, Dr Al-Jafour said, “In case an employer files an absconding report against his employee and they eventually reach an agreement, the differences between them can be settled just by the employer withdrawing the absconding report”. He went on to explain, “When the employer files an absconding report against an employee, the Inspection Department sends its officers to inspect the workplace of the alleged absconding employee to determine the veracity of the report.
If the report is determined to be genuine, the Labor Relations Department, 90 days after the absconding report was filed, issues a notification letter to the employer, addressing Ministry of Interior to take further measures.
With that, the responsibility of the employer over the absconding employee ends”. Concerning employees registered under companies that have been classified with the code 71 (dummy companies), Dr Al-Jafour said the Manpower Public Authority had given a grace period from June 1 to Aug 1, 2015 for those registered under such companies so that they can rectify their legal status, adding that this grace period will not be renewed. He was quick to add, “A draft law is being prepared to toughen the penalties stipulated in the private sector labor Law No. 6/2010 and it will be referred to the Fatwa and Legislation Department for necessary measures to be taken before it is sent to the concerned authorities of the country for implementation.
The aim of introducing stiffer penalties in this regard is to curb the visa Trading and human trafficking practices”. Regarding the national manpower and work permits, Dr Al-Jafour indicated that the Cabinet issued Decision No. 613/2015 to oblige citizens working in the private sector to register their data at the Manpower Public Authority in order to obtain work permits. “So far, 6,700 files have been suspended by the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program for failing to abide by the above-mentioned decision. No Financial aid will be provided to them”, he said.
Despite fierce protest by some lawyers against the ministerial Decision No. 613/2015, Dr Al-Jafour affirmed that the decision does not exempt any labor classification within the private sector from the condition of acquiring work permits. Concerning the transfer of the domestic worker visa of Article 20 to the private sector visa of Article 18, he said the administration Law No. 842/2015 issued by Manpower Public Authority to ban this transfer has been implemented. Dr Al-Jafour concluded by saying, “From time to time, the Manpower Public Authority issues necessary decisions to organize the labor Market. A study is underway to implement a new process related to issuance of work permits for the Bedoun residents”.
SOURCE : ARABTIMES