Employees in Kuwait care most about their healthcare, medical and life insurance. The cost of healthcare is very expensive. Also there are no social provisions or safety nets for expatriates and their families who may fall ill or suffer an accident.
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Visit the Kuwait Towers, the Tareq Rajab Museum and one of the many Souqs (local markets).
When asked to rank three other common benefits in order of importance, the average Kuwaiti employee will respond with: Death Benefits, Disability Benefits and Retirement.
Kuwait intends to join the UAE in enforcing a new labor law which comes into effect in 2016. This will give more protection to foreign workers who dominate the private sector. New benefits will include at least 30 days annual holiday after nine months’ employment and a free air ticket at the end of the contract.
Advice To Employers
Private medical insurance, flight allowances and mobile phones are the most common benefits offered to employees. However, rising medical inflation leading to annual premium increases of 15% to 20% puts companies under continuous pressure, even those with a good claims history. The advice is therefore to be more proactive with your employees about creating awareness around controlling their healthcare costs and their choice of medical facilities.
The workforce is dominated by foreign expats, particularly in the private sector.
Another point to note is that end of service benefit is common across all GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and applies to expat employees as well as national employees in certain countries. On average, this benefit represents one month’s base salary for every year of employment, calculated on the last salary before termination. As such, this service award can be viewed as a proxy for a defined contribution pension plan. Multinationals increasingly introduce Western-style international pension plans as retention tools for their expatriate employees and as a substitute for the end of service benefit. However, the laws surrounding this are often unclear.
Finally, remuneration and benefits vary according to a number of factors: public sector or private sector, contract size, number of employees, work experience, age, competition in the job market, type of job, contract duration, and sometimes nationality.