Kuwait plans domestic labour pact with India

Move comes amid emerging dispute over rules for employing domestic helpers from the Philippines

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Cairo: Kuwait plans pacts with four Asian countries to recruit domestic labour under clear regulations, Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and State for Economic Affairs Hend Al Sabeeh has said.

The move comes amid a reported dispute over rules for employing domestic helpers from the Philippines.

 Al Sabeeh named India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as the other three countries.

“It is expected to recruit domestic helpers from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Bangladesh,” she said, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Naba.

The minister said that relevant agreements will be signed with authorities of the four countries after the holiday of the Muslim Eid Al Adha festival due later this month.

Al Sabeeh disclosed that a new online system is being developed based an application allowing the employer to select the house maid based on preferred nationality and age requirements. Fees will also paid via the application. “This way, we will be able to eliminate any corruption and guarantee rights of all sides,” she said.

“Work is also being done to handle illegal recruitment offices that do not meet regulations.”

Last month, head of the Kuwaiti Union of Domestic Labour Office, Khaled Al Dakhnan, said that an earlier pact on domestic labour between the Gulf country and the Philippines is in peril after Manila has demanded Kuwaiti recruitment offices to deposit an insurance fee of 10,000 dollars in banks to pay Filipinos in case of terming their contracts or withholding their salaries.

In May, both countries signed the agreement regulating the employment of domestic workers in Kuwait after their ties deteriorated over a row on treating Filipino employees and Kuwait’s expulsion of the Philippine ambassador.

Earlier this year, the Philippines banned its nationals from working in Kuwait over alleged abuses after a dead Filipina was found stuffed in a freezer inside an apartment in Kuwait.

The ban was later lifted amid a thaw in ties between the two countries.

Kuwaiti man fears ‘Alien abduction’

Police referred a Kuwaiti man, in his 40s, to the Psychiatric Hospital, reports Al-Shahed daily. The citizen stopped a police patrol at Sheikh Zayed Motorway asking for help, claiming that aliens want to take him. Upon checking security records, police found out an earlier order to withdraw the citizen’s driving license due to his condition

Sondos Al Qattan has 'free right' to her opinion, says Kanoo Group chairman

Mishal Kanoo advised the Kuwaiti influencer Sondos Al Qattan to apologise, but says 'clearer' laws are needed for domestic workers

Source: arabianbusiness

 
Mishal Kanoo advised the Kuwaiti influencer Sondos Al Qattan to apologise, but says 'clearer' laws are needed for domestic workers.

Kuwaiti influencer Sondos Al Qattan, who sparked worldwide outrage over controversial comments about domestic workers, has a ‘free right’ to her opinion, according to the chairman of Bahrain-based family conglomerate Kanoo Group.

Mishal Kanoo, one of the Gulf’s most prominent businessman, told Arabian Business that Al Qattan should be able to express her opinion.

“This is her opinion. I don't support it, but she is fully within her right to have her opinion and she should have the free space to say it,” he said.

 
 

Al Qattan, a makeup artist with 2.3 million followers on Instagram, criticised Kuwait’s legislation designed to protect the right of Filipina domestic workers.

“The new laws that have been passed [in Kuwait] are like a pathetic film. For her [domestic worker] to take a day off every week, that’s four days a month. Those are the days that she’ll be out. And we don’t know what she’ll be doing on those days, with her passport on her,” she said in a video in July, adding, "How can you have a 'servant' at home who keeps their own passport with them?"

The backlash saw a number of brands, including MAC Cosmetics and Anastasia Beverly Hills, cut ties with the social media star. This led Al Qattan to release another video where she states that the matter has been blown out of proportion, and that there are “more important things in life, like Botox”.

While Kanoo disagrees with Al Qattan, he believes laws surrounding domestic workers should be made ‘clearer’ as a household cannot be compared to a regular, corporate business environment.

“I think a full discussion needs to take place to help domestic workers know their rights, but also help employers know what they can legally do. I mean, no one should work 7 days a week, but a house is not like a business from 9 to 5. [There needs to be] a clearer way to be fair to both employer and employees,” he said.

The chairman added that he advises influencers like Al Qattan to think before they speak.

“We have an Arabic poem that says, ‘Your tongue is your horse. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. If you betray it, it will betray you’,” he said.

In a tweet on July 26, Kanoo had urged Al Qattan to apologise for her comments.

“She just doesn’t get it. Just apologize for the stupid statements and try to be a better person. But no. she had to defend her position. When will she learn?” he said.

Off-duty pilot threatens to blow up Emirates plane

 
Court hears how Romanian stewardess was forced to handcuff defendant during Madrid flight in June
 
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

An off-duty Emirati pilot has appeared in court after allegedly getting drunk and threatening to blow up an aircraft.

Local media reported on Wednesday that a Romanian stewardess was confronted by the pilot during a flight from Madrid in June.

The 27-year-old allegedly swore at passengers, insulted and assaulted the stewardess and grabbed two beers without permission.

His behaviour forced the stewardess to restrain him with a plastic handcuff, media reported, but his aggression intensified and shouted that he would blow up the plane with explosives that he allegedly had on him.

He also threatened to chase the Romanian to her house and kill her, it was reported.

Police apprehended the Emirati, who pleaded guilty in court, once the plane landed at Dubai International Airport.He asked presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi for the case to be adjourned so he could hire a lawyer to defend him. The trial continues.

 

Source: arabianbusiness

Kuwait to compensate 710 unpaid compensate Indian Workers

In September last year, the Indian Embassy had submitted a list of 3,614 workers for compensation, but an agreement could not be reached on the modalities to liquidate the security deposits, the Kuwait Times reported recently. File photo

The Kuwaiti government will compensate over 700 unpaid Indian workers of a leading private construction company who had to leave the country following a protracted labour dispute, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait said.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour will pay KD 250 (Rs 56,680) relief amount to each of the 710 employees of the Kharafi National Company, who were registered with the Public Authority of Manpower (PAM), and had left the country between November 2017 and April 2018, the embassy said in a press release.

The workers hailed from different parts of India, including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Last year, over 3,600 Indian workers were left stranded in a state of penury for several months in Kuwait after the Kharafi National Company ran into financial difficulties.

In September last year, the Indian Embassy had submitted a list of 3,614 workers for compensation, but an agreement could not be reached on the modalities to liquidate the security deposits, the Kuwait Times reported recently.

The relief amount would be directly remitted into the workers’ accounts, the report said.

Earlier this year, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh visited Kuwait and held talks with the authorities to find a solution to the issue.

The Indian embassy also pursued the matter and subsequently submitted a modified list of 1,262 people, out of which the PAM shortlisted 710 people eligible for the compensation, an embassy official told PTI over the phone.

The embassy will take up the matter of the rest 552 workers with the Kuwaiti government again, he said.

Source: deccanherald

National Bank of kuwait has cooperated with Mastercard to launch a new payment solution

National Bank of kuwait has cooperated with Mastercard to launch a new payment solution that integrated an embedded fingerprint sensor within credit card to provide an extra layer of security for in-store payments. ARATEK and e-Payment

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Fire detected on a Kuwait-Hyderabad Jazeera flight. All passengers were evacuated safely.

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Fire detected on a Kuwait-Hyderabad Jazeera flight. All passengers were evacuated safely.

 

 

New rules for working women in Kuwait

The manpower authority issued administrative decision number 552 to organize women’s work at night, which limits allowed activities to hotels, pharmacies, medical labs, healthcare providers, law firms, amusement parks, nurseries, disabled care houses, aviation firms, theatres, TV and radio satellite channels and stations, commercial stores at port and airports, the oil sector, petrochemical industries and companies with contracts with government bodies to provide 24/7 services.

The decision also defined the activities in which women will be allowed to work until midnight, except during Ramadan, including banks, restaurants, NGOs, amusement parks, law firms, co-ops, educational facilities, women’s salons, travel agencies and shopping malls.

The decision bans women from working in 15 activities including painting, asbestos manufacturing, chlorine and soda manufacturing, asphalt manufacturing, factories and mines, slaughterhouses, pesticide manufacturing and sale, metal fusion and casting, explosives, operating or maintaining machines, battery manufacture or repair, fertilizer manufacture or storage, brick manufacturing, heavy-duty jobs such as construction and firefighting, oil drilling and all jobs involving the use of lead, benzol, arsenic or phosphorus.

In addition to banning men from working in facilities providing special services for women, the decision entitles working women to two hours to breastfeed their babies, provided they file an application to their superiors accompanied with the baby’s birth certificate. It also entitles a Muslim working widow to a fully-paid leave of four months and 10 days effective from the date of her husband’s death.

AT LEAST 10 KILLED IN CAR BOMB ATTACK IN PHILIPPINES

Police inspect a vehicle at a military checkpoint where the bomb exploded

A Filipino soldier, five militiamen and four villagers have been killed by a powerful bomb that exploded in a van the troops were inspecting amid threats of bombings in a southern province, military officials said.

Regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana said one other government militiaman was wounded in the blast after dawn that shattered a part of the barricades surrounding an army militia outpost in the village of Colonia on the island province of Basilan.

Lt Col Besana, who is based in southern Zamboanga city across a strait from Basilan, said a security clampdown due to intelligence reports of possible bomb attacks on military outposts included the setting up of road checkpoints, which allowed troops to stop the bomb-laden white van.

Police said the blast occurred after militiamen flagged down the van at a checkpoint for inspection, although the report had limited details and it is unclear what happened to the driver.

The villagers who died in the explosion included relatives of militiamen assigned at the outpost.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast. Investigators were trying to determine the type of the explosive and its design.

Government forces have been put on alert in the south, scene of decades-long Muslim separatist unrest, after President Rodrigo Duterte signed a new autonomy agreement last week with the biggest Muslim rebel group in the country.

The peace deal has been opposed by much smaller but violent extremist bands mostly linked with the Islamic State group.

“These may be the work of peace spoilers,” Lt Col Besana told The Associated Press, referring to opponents of the autonomy agreement and adding that it was likely that the militia outpost was the target of the bombing and not the city of Lamitan, a few miles away.

Regional military commander Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega committed “every available resource under his disposal to identify the perpetrators in the soonest possible time”.

KUWAIT: EXPAT TERMINATIONS LEFT BANKS WITH $1.8 BILLION BAD DEBTS

The number of foreigners terminated from public sector jobs in Kuwait has left banks in the country with a sizeable bad debt problem.

 Local media said that Kuwait’s efforts to create more jobs for nationals by releasing foreigners has created a problem when thousands of laid off expatriates became unable to fulfill their financial obligations towards local banks.

Kuwait Times reported recent data from the Central Bank of Kuwait that shows the total bad debts for expatriates during the past four years reached $1.8 billion, a sizable portion of which comprise the debts of foreigners who were laid off by the government, according to sources.

Eighty five percent of those debts are owed to local banks, while the remaining 15 percent are owed to financial facilities companies.

According to official statistics released by the Central Statistical Bureau and Civil Service Commission, the number of expats in the public sector dropped to 80,000, compared to around 340,000 Kuwaiti employees as of the end of June.

Also, over 1,600 expatriate workers were terminated from public sector positions in Kuwait so far this year, according to Kuwait’s Civil Service Commission (CSC).