A Guide on Statutory Leaves in Kuwait

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    Every employee needs a break to relax and spend time with their loved ones, especially if they are spending excessive hours at their office. A stressed and hectic mind will have a negative impact on job performance and can even result in costly mistakes. Hence, leaves are more than mandatory not just for the well-being of the employee but for the employer as well.

    Here we have covered in detail about the leave policy in Kuwait.

    The Leaves granted to employees working in Kuwait under the labor law are as mentioned below

    • Annual leave
    • Sick leave
    • Maternity leave
    • Hajj Leave
    • Compassionate leave
    • Academic leave
    • Official national holidays

    A. Annual Leave Policy in Kuwait

    As per Article 70, workers in Kuwait are entitled to a 30-day paid annual leave. However, the entitlement to leave for the first year of work begins after at least 9 months of service for the employer. Official holidays and sick leaves during the year are not counted as annual leave. The worker shall be entitled to a leave for the fraction’s year in proportion with the period he spent in actual service, even the first year of service.


    1. Is annual leave in Kuwait based on calendar days?

      Yes, Annual leave is calculated based on calendar days. Official holidays during the leave period are not counted as annual leave

    2. Can the employer determine when the employee leave will be taken?

      The employer has the right to determine the date of the annual leave, with the consent of the employee. Similarly, an employee can accumulate his annual leaves entitlements for a maximum period of two years and can take them all at once subject to the approval of the employer.

    3. How are national/public holidays that fall within an employee’s annual leave treated?

      If any public holiday falls within the period of Annual leave, that will not be considered as part of the leave.

    4. Can an employee claim compensation for unutilized leaves while termination of contract?

      Yes, upon termination of the work contract a worker is entitled to a cash compensation for any leaves that have not been utilized.

    5. Can an employee work for another employer during their annual leave?

      No, an employee shall not work for another employer while on annual or sick leave provided. Where his employer establishes that he has done so, he may deprive him of his wage for the duration of the leave or recover any wages previously paid to him

    B. Sick Leave policy in the Kuwait
    Article 69 states that an employee is entitled to sick leaves at the following rate per annum.

    • First 15 days at full pay.
    • following 10 days at three-quarters of the pay
    • following 10 days at half pay
    • following 10 days at quarter pay
    • following 30 days without pay. (Sick leave unpaid leave)


    1. What is the difference between sick leave unpaid and unpaid leave?

      The days taken after the first forty-five days are regarded as sick leave unpaid and are different from unpaid leave. The days falling under this type of leave are included when determining the service period of an employee. This leave does NOT impact calculation of gratuity, outstanding vacation, air ticket payout or any other payroll accrual due to the employee.

    C. Maternity Leave policy in Kuwait
    As per Article 24, A pregnant working woman is entitled to a paid maternity leave of 70 days, not included in her other leaves, if she gives birth within this period.

    Frequently asked questions concerning maternity leave

    1. Can an employee take extra leaves after exhaustion of her maternity leave?

      After the end of the maternity leave, the employer may give the working woman, at her request, an unpaid leave for a period not exceeding four months to take care of the baby.

    2. Is the period taken as unpaid maternity leave included while determining the period of service?

      Yes, this period taken as unpaid maternity leave is included while determining the period of service and is counted while calculating gratuity at the end of service.

    3. Is a female employee entitled to any extra breaks post-delivery?

      Yes, the nursing female employee is allowed a two-hour break per day so that she can take care of her newborn baby.

    4. Can an employer terminate an employee who is on maternity leave?

      The employer may not terminate the services of a working woman while she is on such leave or during her absence from work because of a sickness that is proved by a medical certificate that states that the sickness resulted from pregnancy or giving birth.

    D. Hajj Leave
    The worker who spent two continuous years working for the same employer shall be entitled to 21 days leave with pay to perform Hajj provided that he had not performed hajj before

    E. Paternity Leave
    There is no statutory paternity leave in Kuwait

    F. Compassionate leave
    According to Article 77, the employer may grant an employee a special leave of three days in the event of a first- and second-degree relative’s death.

    G. Academic leave
    The employer may grant an employee a paid academic leave to obtain a higher degree in his work field provided the worker shall return and work for the employer for a similar length of time that should not exceed five years.

    H. Iddah Leave
    The Muslim working woman, whose husband has died, shall be entitled to a fully paid iddah leave for four months and ten days from the date of death. During this leave, the working woman shall not be entitled to work for another employer.
    The non-Muslim working woman, whose husband has died shall be entitled to a paid leave of 21 days.

    I. Marriage Leave
    Marriage leave is not provided in Kuwait, Employee can avail their Annual leave for marriage

    J. Kuwait Public Holidays.
    These are the public holidays in Kuwait;

    • Hegeira New Year: 1 day
    • Isra’ and Mi’raj day: 1 day
    • Eid Al-Fitr: 3 days
    • Arafa Day: 1 day
    • Eid Al-Adha: 3 days
    • Prophet’s Birthday: 1 day
    • National Day: 1 day
    • Gregorian New Year: 1 day

    *Please note, Islamic holidays are determined according to moon sighting

    Leaves are one of the many elements that help in promoting a relaxed workplace. This in turn leads to more motivated, productive and healthy working environment.

    For information on the payroll process in Kuwait click on this link

    Payroll Process in Kuwait

    The process of payroll is little complicated and time-consuming; hence it is always recommended to outsource your company’s payroll function. Outsourcing payroll will ensure the assistance of a team of trained payroll professionals and it frees up the time of the organization, helping them focus on other projects that add value to their business.

    One should be extra vigilant while selecting their payroll provider, as payroll data is highly sensitive, and one should opt for a provider that can ensure high levels of data security.

    As a leading payroll outsourcing company, HLB HAMT can help solve your payroll complexities through customized strategies. We take care of our clients’ entire payroll cycle that includes preparation of payroll reports, processing salary payment with WPS compliance, accrual management including Gratuity, pension funds, an online portal for accessing pay slips, and many more. Our leadership team spends the necessary hours in every project, ensuring our clients get refined consulting services to take your business forward.

    To know more about our payroll process, click here


    Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, HLB HAMT will not accept any liability arising out of errors or omissions. Please note that this blog is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues/topics covered. It is subjected to change and not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion.

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