Cairo: As Kuwait is set to lift a contested ban on renewing work permits for expatriates over 60, related regulations are expected to make health insurance compulsory for this category of workforce , according to a press article.
Last month, the Kuwaiti Department of Legal Advice and Legislation overturned the ban on employing expatriates over 60 without a university degree, saying it had no legal basis.
The cabinet-affiliated department added that the ban was imposed by the director general of the Public Manpower Authority (PAM) without authorization.
Al Rai newspaper, citing unidentified sources, reported that a plan should be adopted making health insurance compulsory for all expats over 60, regardless of educational background, in an effort to reduce financial burdens. weighing on the country’s government health sector.
Kuwaiti Minister of Trade and Industry Abdullah Al Salman has requested that an adviser from the Department of Legal Advice and Legislation attend an upcoming meeting of the WFP board which is expected to formally agree to lift the ban, the sources said.
WFP will issue a new decree that may stipulate renewal of work permits for expatriates over 60 in exchange for payment of normal fees plus health insurance documents issued by local insurance companies in accordance with a proposal adopted by Minister Al Salman with a view to easing and logistical pressure on the country’s health sector.
About 4,013 of those expatriates were kicked out of the Kuwait labor market in the first six months of the ruling being implemented, the Al Qabas newspaper recently reported. The ban, which went into effect earlier this year, sparked an uproar among rights activists, who argued that it affects thousands of expats and their families who have long lived in Kuwait.
Critics also said the restriction also caused damage to many employers and destabilized the job market, depriving it of experienced workers. The ban was seen as an attempt to reduce the number of migrant workers who make up the majority of Kuwait’s population.
In July, WFP issued another decision allowing expatriates over the age of 60 to renew their residence permits upon payment of an annual fee of KD 2,000. The move also sparked an uproar and sparked a campaign by activists demanding that the restrictions be lifted.
Expats without a university degree are estimated at over 80,000 in Kuwait. Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s total population of 4.6 million. The country has sought in recent months to correct its demographic imbalance amid the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.