Working conditions and labour laws in Kuwait


Working conditions differ across the world, and as a working expat, it is important to know your rights as an employee.

Are working conditions standard in Kuwait? For instance, are working hours, paid time off, and sick leave different for expats v.s. locals? Do they differ based on the type of company (private, public, NGO)?

Are there laws in place regarding physical conditions of the office, employee protection, etc.?

What are some resources in Kuwait to inform people about labour laws and employee rights (websites, governmental associations)?

Have the general working conditions or labour laws changed in any way lately?

How do the working conditions and labour laws in Kuwait differ from your country of origin?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Most of the HR rules and policies like working hours, leave, notice period etc are determined by government rules. below are key points, there are many more rules which one should see on ministry website. These rules may change anytime so if you really need the latest: check ministry website. Though it is possible that latest rules are not updated on their website!!!

Official Working hours: 8 (Yes, EIGHT) actual working hours per day and 48 (yes, Forty Eight) hours per week. This does not include breaks (Kindly note!). Usually it is 8.30/9 hours per day with 30min/1 hour break. Only one day weekend (mostly Friday). Individual employer may give relaxation. Most of the govt offices work 7am-3pm and private offices work 7am-4pm with 1 hour break / 7am-3.30pm with 30 mins break. There are different rules for maids, workers, temp workers etc.

Probation: First 100 days is probation period where employer or employee anyone can quit by giving one same day (Wow). I have seen many professionals misusing this facility. They will join somewhere by compromising on position or salary etc and continue their job search. If they get a better job, they just quit the same day and join others. Employers are happy because they get candidate next day. On other side, employer also misuse this. After probation period of 100 days, the notice period is 3 months. Unless employer and employee mutually agree on reduced period.

Annual leave is 0 in first year. 14 days after completion of first year. 21 days after completion of 5 years. Though few employer give more annual leave than prescribed by law (be thankful to them!!). There are 8-10 paid holidays per year as defined by government (like Eid etc)

Sick leave: Max 6 fully paid sick leave on producing medical certificate as per defined format. After first 6 days, it is 3/4 paid, further 6 days 1/2 paid, further 6 days 1/4 paid and further 6 days without pay. Please have sympathy with your payroll/HR department who are doing these complex calculations for you. Give them chocolate next time you take 20 days sick leave. Your salary is = (6xfull + 6x0.75 + 6x0.5 + 2x0.25 + remaining day of the month xfull) - (deductions) - (late coming penalties) + (weekday overtime x1.15) + (something else) - (something else). And if you start your annual leave in the same month, try to make the formula if you are free :)

Other leave: For ladies there are some rules like not to work in night and they get 70 days maternity (30 prior and 40 post delivery)

Overtime: 1.25 times on regular days, 1.5 times on weekly off (which is only one day a week and usually Friday), 2 times on public holidays.

There are certain rules including certain behavior etc which employer has to follow. Else employer can terminate without giving any notice.

Gratuity starts after 3.5 years and goes in slab of 5, 7 and 10 years.

More info on Ministry website

Humble advise specially for westerners: Do NOT try to compare it with the rules of your country. No point giving comments or arguing it because you have no choice but to obey government rule if you wish to work in their country. Dont curse your employer if you not happy with their HR policy :) Few employer give good relaxation in working hours etc but will pay less than average market rate; and vice-versa.

Dont worry too much. Enjoy the money you get in Kuwait. You make much more than your home country and get the luxury you cant think of.

I am in a position where I am looking to get a official copy of the revised  Labor law 85 of 2017 amends law 6 of 2016 article 51 and 70 of Kuwait labor law 6 of 2016 were amended to provide clearer employment benefits to Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis alike.

We currently are being short changed on annual leave as the company wont recognise this change to the law until proof is provided and I have had no success to date .

Is there anyone with a copy

Is it not available on or some other government website.

I dont understand Arabic and Google translate is not of much help if you need 100% accuracy  :(

Hello Priscila
I will inform as I am adapting. :)
Thanks a lot!

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