In a significant law change, Kuwait now permits a foreign worker to switch employer, without the previous employer’s consent, if the worker has worked three years.

According to a Kuwait Times’s story dated 6 June 2016, decree 378/2016 “amended article 6 of decree 842/2015 regarding transferring workers from one employer to another”.

“The employee can transfer his residency from his employer after three years of the date of issue of his work permit without the approval of his employer,” explained Aseel Al-Mazyad, Director of the Public Relations and Information Department at the Public Authority for Manpower, a department under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.

She added, “the employee is obliged to give his employer the legal notice period according to article 44 of law No 6/2010.”

If however, the employee is unable to give the employer the required notice, he can submit a complaint at the Labor Relations Department to inform the employer. The submission date of this complaint is considered the beginning of the notice period. The employer is not allowed to file an absconding report against the absent employee during this period.

This puts Kuwait ahead of Singapore, which does not allow work permit holders to change jobs without their employers’ consent however long they have worked here.