A major decision to resolve the uncertainty surrounding renewal of residence permits for those above sixty years old is expected in the coming days.
Around 90,000 expatriates stand to be affected this year if the decision not to renew the residence permits of expatriates aged 60 and over who only have high school diplomas and lower is implemented.
The possibility of the decision being implemented has created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety as this will create a major vacuum in the private sector job market, in addition to causing among other things displacement of families, financial loss to employers who will not be able to find replacements, uncertain business environment and also the exit of skilled workers.
The Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) has referred the issue to the Minister of Commerce who has been under tremendous pressure from various quarters to find a solution that will be acceptable to businesses, as well as to human rights advocates and civil society.
Among the options on the table are a fixed fee for all expatriates over 60 irrespective of their degree that is reasonable and acceptable. An amount ranging from KD500 to KD700 as an annual fee is being seriously considered as a solution to this predicament.
Regularising the labor market has been a major challenge for PAM as the country is seeking to hire more nationals in the private sector. However at this time of a global COVID-19 pandemic bringing in new rules and regulations have created a sense of discomfort for expatriates who are facing an uncertain future due to slow down in business and job loss, as well as inability to relocate back home at this time.
SOURCE : TIMES KUWAIT