The impact of the Corona virus pandemic on employment contracts in Kuwait

There is no doubt that the emerging Corona Virus pandemic, which is considered one of the exceptional circumstances in all countries of the world, has had a significant negative impact on the labor market due to the decisions taken by countries regarding the total and partial closure of institutions, companies, commercial establishments, factories and stores..etc. to reduce gatherings and the spread of the virus and the tendency to work remotely from home, which led to the trend of employers, due to the stagnation of economic life due to the Corona virus pandemic, to reduce the number of workers and reduce salaries, which had a negative impact on the source of income for workers in the private sector.

The Kuwaiti government has taken measures of curfew and total and partial closure of economic activities to limit the spread of the new Corona virus.. What is the impact of this on work contracts in Kuwait?

The Labor Law in the Private Sector No. 6 of 2010 states in Article 61 of it that the employer is obligated to pay the wages of his workers during the closure period if he deliberately closed the facility to force the workers to submit to his demands. He shall also be obligated to pay the wages of his workers throughout the period of complete or partial suspension of the facility for any other reason in which the workers are not involved, as long as the employer wishes them to continue their work with him.

It is clear from the text of the article that the employer must pay the salaries of his workers throughout the period of closing or disabling the facility in whole or in part as long as the cause of the closure or disruption is not in the hands of its employees, in the event the employer desires to continue their work with him. But if the employer does not want their work for him to continue, he is not obligated to pay their salary during that period, and he is obligated to apply the rules and provisions of termination of service contained in the Labor Law in the private sector, provided that the calculation of the worker’s entitlements takes into account the last wage he received.

There remain other legal solutions to regulate the relationship between workers and business owners during the period of the new Corona virus pandemic, including granting the worker leave that is calculated from his annual leave, where, according to the text of Article 72 of the Labor Law in the private sector, the employer may set the date of the annual paid leave for the worker for a period of thirty days. And he may also divide it with the worker’s consent after the first fourteen days of it, and in this case the employer must pay the worker the wages due for the annual leave before taking it.

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