A new law proposed by lawmakers has been submitted which seeks to address a long-standing demographic imbalance between Expat workers and Kuwaiti nationals. If approved, it could lead to hundreds of thousands of Expat workers being laid off and replaced with citizens.
The law stipulates a certain percentage for the main Expat communities in the country depending on its current size as the proposed percentage is from the Kuwaiti population of 1.4 million at present.
There are also calls for freezing job applications from expats in addition to cancelling those currently under process or nearing renewal for existing employees.
Kuwaiti authorities are said to have welcomed the move in the hope that all expats working in the government will be replaced by nationals within a year. One MP, Abdulkarim Abdullah Al-Kandari, said the legislation was needed because, despite existing regulations designed to reduce the number of foreigners in the government sector, expats continue to comprise 26 percent of the public sector employees in the country.
According To, Kuwait Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), the population of Kuwait is 4.7 million; 30 percent of whom are citizens and 70 percent expats.
Kuwait has been working on reducing its expatriate population in order to boost nationalization in the workforce.
The law proposes penalties of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to KD 100,000 for any public employee who violates the law.