16th July 2018
It’s likely that many agencies looking to place contractors in the Middle East will consider their top business gateway to be Dubai. However, Kuwait is another fantastic destination that should appeal to professionals and recruiters alike.
Kuwait aims to become a preeminent centre for commerce and finance by the year 2035. With the government taking steps to boost the economy with reforms such as encouraging job creation in the private sector and improving the business environment, it is becoming increasingly easy to sell its appeal to contractors. What’s more, its rich arts heritage, including its 30-plus art galleries and a tradition of theatre and music, together with its stunning landscape of deserts and skyscrapers make it an attractive destination for professionals that are keen to experience the Arabic way of life.
Know your stuff
As Kuwait is a small yet highly-populated country, the government is keen to ensure that natives are prioritised when it comes to securing employment. That said, there are certainly opportunities for recruiters to place overseas contractors with the skills to help the development of the Kuwaiti economy. Professionals with degrees and significant experience in financial services, business development, marketing and sales are in particular demand. And, with oil production being the country’s largest industry, agencies will also find that there are numerous prospects for engineers with the relevant skills.
Placing contractors in Kuwait – the legalities
While there are certainly opportunities for agencies to profit from placing contractors in Kuwait, tax and employment law in the country is extremely complex. For example, when working on a placement, recruiters need to be aware that:
- All non-Kuwaiti nationals need a permit before beginning work and this can take six to eight weeks to process, so it is vital for recruiters to factor in this timescale.
- The permit is granted once the contractor has complied with various requirements, including providing blood and HIV tests, undergoing x-rays and finger-printing, and obtaining government-stipulated medical insurance.
- Your contractors will also need to supply documentation including relevant passport pages, a degree certificate, police clearance documents and, once a visa is issued, a medical certificate.
- Contractors must be paid by the 15th of each month and in Kuwaiti Dinar.
- An ‘end of service benefit’ (ESOB) equivalent to two days per month is deducted from the contractor’s total pay rate, so recruiters should consider this when negotiating pay.
- Agencies should make contractors aware that, by law, they must give three months’ notice to terminate their employment.
- At the end of the contract, the individual must have the cost of an air fare agreed.
Of course, the easiest, and crucially, safest, way to ensure that contractors placed in Kuwait have a smooth transition and are compliant with local legislation is to partner with an expert.
Contact our specialist team today to find out how we can help your agency.