KUWAIT: Local banks could be forced to cut some of its expatriate manpower if they are asked to increase the number of their Kuwaiti employees from 60 to 66 percent, a local daily reported yesterday quoting sources close to the banking sector.
The new condition comes as part of a state law released in 2009 by which private sector companies are required to increase the percentage of national labor forces among their staff periodically.
According to the sources who spoke to Al-Qabas on the condition of anonymity, local banks are still struggling from the effects of the global economic crisis, which forces them to follow one of two scenarios if they are forced to increase their Kuwaiti staff.
“The first scenario is laying off some expatriate workers to increase the percentage of Kuwaitis, while the second is fake hiring”, the sources said, referring to the method by which citizens are paid to stay at home.
Taking the first scenario could leave hundreds of expatriates in the banking sector without jobs soon according to one source. Meanwhile, another source warned that luring Kuwaitis to the banking sector remains difficult “given the highly increased financial privileges they would obtain in the public sector”. “Many Kuwaiti jobseekers back away from applying to work at bank when they realize following the interview that they can get paid better while working with less productivity and less working hours at the public sector”, the source said.