EWS helps you to hire an international workforce quickly and compliantly, without setting up a legal entity locally. If you’d like to get in touch about our employer of record solution in Kuwait, click here
Country Introduction – Kuwait
Capital – Kuwait City
Currency – Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
Population – 4.27 Million
GDP – $136.2 Billion
Language – Arabic
Major Religions – Islam
Kuwait is a small emirate nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait is situated in a section of one of the driest, least-hospitable deserts on Earth. Its shore, however, includes Kuwait Bay, a deep harbour on the Persian Gulf. The tiny country, which was a British protectorate from 1899 until 1961, drew world attention in 1990 when Iraqi forces invaded and attempted to annex it. The Liberation Tower is the symbol of Kuwaiti liberation, the representation of country’s resurgence, second tallest tower in Kuwait, and the fifth tallest telecommunication tower in the world.
Kuwait has nine islands, all of which, with the exception of Failaka Island, are uninhabited.
The Kuwaiti dinar is the world’s highest-valued currency unit.
Contract of Employment
All employment contracts in Kuwait must be set out in writing in Arabic. The employment contract must state the terms of employment, the probation period, the notice period, the compensation in KWD.
The employment contract can be a fixed term contract or an unlimited term contract. Fixed term contracts can only have a maximum duration of 5 years and cannot be extended beyond this duration.
Up to a maximum of 100 days.
Notice period for both employer and employee to end the employment is set at 3 months by Kuwaiti law.
48 Hours per week.
Working week is Sunday to Thursday.
Overtime should not exceed more than 2 hours per day, 3 days per week or 90 days per year.
Overtime during the working week is paid at 1.25x the monthly salary rate. Overtime during the weekend is paid at 1.5x the monthly salary and overtime during a public holiday is paid 2x the monthly rate.
30 days of annual leave after completing 1 year of service.
Any employee who has been working for an employer for over a month is entitled to sick leave. The employer must provide medical insurance for the employee as per law.
Sick leave is paid as follows:
– 15 days at full pay
– Next 10 days at 75% pay
– Next 10 days at 50% pay
– Next 10 days at 25% pay
– Next 30 days plus unpaid
Expecting mothers are entitled to 70 paid days off for maternity leave. 30 days before due date and 40 days after they give birth.
There is no provision for paternity leave.
VAT / GST:
5% VAT rate.
There in income tax in Kuwait.
For employees having Kuwaiti nationality, the employer is required to make monthly social security contributions of 11.5% of the salary of the staff to Kuwait Institution for Social Security. The Kuwaiti employee is required to contribute 10.5% (effective from 1 January 2015) of his/her salary for this purpose. The employee’s contribution is deducted from the salary of the employee and the employer is expected to ensure that the above contributions are made on a timely basis. The contribution is required for a maximum salary limit of KD 2,750 for the Kuwait employee.
There are no social security contributions for expatriate employees.
13 paid public holidays.
Employees are entitled to 15 days’ pay for each year of employment for the first 5 years of service, increasing to one month per year of service from year 5 to year 10.
Work and Residence Permits (Expatriates)
EWS can handle the in-country transfer and new work and residence permit for the expatriate workers.
Business Visa can be secured by commercial visitors prior to entering Kuwait and this must be sponsored by a local Kuwaiti company. A business visa is valid for up to month after which point it must be renewed by exiting the country.
A work permit for a new foreign hire can be obtained only by a Kuwaiti company and can take between 2-3 months to obtain. This visa can be valid for 1 to 3 years. Documents for a new work permit/residence visa must be presented to the Ministry of Immigration for eligibility evaluation. The employee must provide an attested bachelor’s degree and an attested police clearance certificate.
Typically, the following documents are required:
– Passport copy
– Photo in blue background
– Diploma / School credentials with Kuwait embassy and MOFA stamp
Once the initial clearance is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour along with clearance from the Ministry of immigration, the employee must arrange for a pre-entry medical to be conducted via the Kuwaiti embassy in their home country. The employee can then enter Kuwait and complete the in-country processes for medical evaluations and visa stamping.