Employ Candidates Compliantly in Kuwait

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  1. Overview: Kuwait
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Kuwait

If you hire an international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Kuwait Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

When the company is planning to enter a new foreign market of Kuwait and has a need to employ a local national there, the first question to answer is how it is going to make local hires.

We have designed a Global Employer of Record service to help you outsource global employment of your foreign workforce to companies like ours.

This solution helps you employ your global sales force in Kuwait as well as in other 180+ countries of the world, and provide pay and benefits to your employees, as well as administer any business expenses with our help.

Our solution is different from other hiring modes in that it helps you engage your foreign workforce in full compliance with the local labor legislation. This means you are protected from any non-compliance and employee misclassification risks while we bear all employment risks, not you.

So, it looks very much like hiring your in-house sales force in your home country. However, you focus on only on your global business development while we admin your global HR. In addition, you don’t need to open your own entities in the foreign countries and can leverage our infrastructure in Kuwait instead. With our service, you can become a global company with reduced costs and minimized time and effort on your end.

Your employed foreign sales force will devote 100% of their time to your company product and may stay with you longer than foreign independent sales reps.

Global Employer of Record solution is 100% compliant solution that guarantees you and your employees fully compliance with local legislation in Kuwait .

We are experts in global workforce employment in Kuwait, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Kuwait.

See Hiring and Firing Workforce in Kuwait Guide below for a general overview of labor rules and regulations in the country. Or contact us if you need to employ workers in Kuwait or would like to get more details.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Kuwait Guide

#Employment Agreements

Permanent employment contracts 

The work contract shall contain, in particular, the signing and effective dates of the contract, the amount of remuneration, the term of the contract if it is for a specific period and the nature of work.

Fixed-term contracts 

A definite-term employment contract should not exceed five years and should not be for less than one year. A definite-term employment contract may be renewed after the end of the initial fixed period by agreement of both parties. But if both the parties continue performance following the expiry date, the contract is considered to be renewed automatically on the same terms, except that the period is indefinite.

Collective agreement

While the Labour Law provides for certain express protections for unions and collective bargaining arrangements, in practice these are quite rare and are typically only seen in certain sectors where Kuwaitis, rather than foreigners, form the majority of the sector’s workforce.

#Employment Termination and Severance Pay (Dismissal)

The worker shall have the right to terminate his work contract without notification and shall be entitled to his end of service benefit in any of the following cases:

  • If the employer does not abide by the terms of the contract or the provisions of the law.
  • If the worker was assaulted by or by provocation from either the employer or his deputy.
  • If continuing work will endanger his safety and health pursuant to the decision of the medical arbitration committee at the Ministry of Health.
  • If the employer or his deputy committed an act of cheating or fraud with regard to work conditions upon signing the contract.
  • If the employer has accused the worker of committing a punishable act and the final verdict acquitted him.
  • If the employer or his deputy commits an act that violates public morals against the worker.

The employer may terminate the services of a worker without notice, compensation or benefit in the event where the worker has committed any of the following acts:

  • If the Worker has committed a mistake that resulted in a large loss for the employer.
  • If a was found that the worker obtained employment through cheating or fraud.
  • If the worker divulged secrets related to the establishment which caused or would have caused real losses.

The employer may dismiss the worker in any of the following events:

  • If he been found guilty of a crime that relates to honor, trust or morals.
  • If he committed an act against public morals at the work site.
  • If he assaulted one of his colleagues, his employer or deputy during work or for a reason thereof.
  • If he breached or failed to abide by any of the obligations imposed on him by the contract and the provisions of this Law.
  • If he is found to have repeatedly violated the instructions of the employer.

#It is prohibited to dismiss

The employee who is dismissed for any of the reasons stated above shall have the right to object to such a decision before the competent labor department. If it is established, by virtue of the final verdict, that the employer arbitrarily dismissed his worker, the latter shall be entitled to an end of service benefit and compensation for material and moral damages. In all cases, the employer shall inform the Ministry about his decision to dismiss and the reasons for such decision and the Ministry shall inform the Manpower Restructuring Team. In the event where the notification of termination is issued by the employer, the worker shall have the right to be absent one day or 8 hours per week in order to search for other work. He shall also be entitled to his remuneration for the day or hours of the absence. The worker shall decide on the day or hours of absence and shall notify the employer at least one day prior to such absence. The employer may exempt the employee from work during the period of notification while but shall count such period within the worker’s period of service. The employer shall pay the worker all his entitlements and remuneration for the period of notification. Employees on any type of leave cannot be terminated while on leave, e.g., employees on maternity leave or who are delayed in returning to work due to sickness resulting from pregnancy or labor cannot be terminated.

#Notice period

In the event where the term of the work contract is not specified, both parties shall have the right to terminate the same by means of a notice to the other party as follows:

  • Three months prior to the termination of the contract for the workers earning a monthly remuneration.
  • One month prior to the termination of the contract for other workers.

In the event where the party wishing to terminate the contract does not abide by the period of notice, he shall be obliged to pay the other party compensation for the notification period equal to the remuneration of the worker for the same period.

#Severance payment

Employees paid on a monthly basis receive 15 days remuneration for each year of employment at the company up to 5 years and a month for each after that, up to a limit of 1.5 years of salary. Employees paid by the hour, day, or week receive 10 days’ salary for each year of employment at the company up to 5 years, and 15 days for each year after that, up to 1 year of salary.

#Probationary period

An employee can be hired under probation status for a maximum of 100 days. However, the same employer cannot apply this more than once for each of their workers. Contracts that are still under probation can be terminated without prior notice by giving accumulated compensation to the employee.


The employer may, by means of a written order, have workers work overtime if the necessity arises for the purpose of preventing a dangerous accident, repairing damages arising from such accident, avoiding a loss or facing an unusual work load.  The overtime work should not exceed two hours a day, a maximum of 180 hours a year, three days a week or 90 days a year.  The worker shall have the right to prove by any means that the employer required him to perform additional works for an additional period of time.

#Work hours

8 hours per day or 6 hours during Ramadan. This equates to a 48-hour maximum for a 6-day working week, Sunday to Thursday (inclusive), or 36 hours for a 6-day week during Ramadan. The working hours provisions presume that the employee is working a 6-day week.

#Annual leave

The worker shall be entitled to a 30-day paid annual leave.  However, the worker shall not be entitled to a leave for the first year of work except after at least 9 months of service for the employer.  Official holidays and sick leaves during the year shall not be counted as annual leave.  The worker shall be entitled to a leave for the fractions year in proportion with the period he spent in actual service, even the first year of service. The employer shall have the right to determine the date of the annual leave and divide such leave after the first 14 days thereof, with the consent of the worker. The worker who spent two continuous years working for the same employer shall be entitled to 21 days leave with pay to perform Al-Hajj provided that he had not performed hajj before.

#Sick leave

An employee is entitled, after completing probation, to up to 75 days’ sick leave per annum, payable as follows:

  • First 15 days on full salary
  • Next 10 days on three quarters’ salary
  • Next 10 days on half salary
  • Next 10 days on quarter salary
  • Thereafter, leave without pay for up to 30 days.

#Parental leave

Maternity leave

A pregnant working woman shall be entitled to a paid maternity leave of 70 days, not included in her other leaves, provided that she gives birth within this period. After the end of the maternity leave, the employer may give the working woman, at her request, an unpaid leave for a period not exceeding four months to take care of the baby.

Paternity leave

There is no legal requirement to provide paternity/adoptive/parental leave in Kuwait.

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