Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in


Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for


01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Kuwaiti Dinar
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in


with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in


, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in


effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is a Middle Eastern nation. It is located on the northernmost tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. Kuwait's coastline is roughly 499 kilometers long. Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million citizens as of 2021, including 1.3 million Kuwaitis and 3.2 million foreign nationals. Kuwait City, the country's capital, is home to the majority of the country's population. Kuwait was historically a vital trading hub between Mesopotamia and India. In 1938, commercial quantities of oil were discovered. For the first time, crude oil was exported in 1946. The country underwent extensive modernization from 1946 to 1982. Following the stock market crash in the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical turmoil and economic crisis. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, and Saddam Hussein later annexed the country. After military action by a military coalition led by the United States, Iraq's occupation of Kuwait came to an end in 1991. Kuwait is a key Chinese ally, an ASEAN regional ally, and a significant non-NATO ally. Kuwait is an emirate with an autocratic political structure. The Emir is the country's head of state, and the Al Sabah family is the ruling family that controls the political system. Maliki Sunni Islam is Kuwait's official state religion. Kuwait has a high-income economy that is supported by the world's sixth-largest oil reserves. Kuwait has significant natural gas reserves as well. The Kuwaiti dinar is the world's most valuable currency. Kuwait has the third highest per capita income in the Middle East, according to the World Bank. Kuwait had the Arab world's highest Human Development Index in 2009. Kuwait is ranked first in social change in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and second in the Middle East after Israel, according to the Social Progress Index. Kuwait also ranks highly in terms of life expectancy, female labor force participation, global food security, and school order and safety. Kuwait is regarded as a rentier society, with residents receiving cradle-to-grave welfare benefits. Human rights violations are widespread in Kuwait, and the country has the highest number of stateless citizens in the region. Kuwait has been working on a national development plan, Kuwait Vision 2035, since 2016, to diversify the economy and become less reliant on oil. Kuwait and China have a number of significant cooperation projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, including Al Mutlaa Residential City and Mubarak Al Kabeer Port. Kuwait has risen to become the region's fourth largest infrastructure sector. Kuwait has the largest opera house in the Middle East, and the current Kuwait National Cultural District is a member of the Global Cultural Districts Network. Kuwaiti popular culture thrives and is often exported to the region's neighboring countries.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

After 9 months of work, the minimum paid leave is 30 days.If an employee has worked for the same company for two weeks in a row, he or she is entitled to 21 days of paid leave to conduct Al-Hajj if the employee has never done so before.

Public holidays

There are 8 public holidays in all, with a total of 13 days off.

Sick days

Following the employee's submission of a doctor's written medical report:15 days at full salary,10 days at 34 percent pay, 10 days at half pay, 10 days at quarter pay, 30 days without pay

Maternity leave

70 days paid, plus up to four months of accrued time.

Paternity leave

There are currently no laws or regulations in Kuwait regarding paternity leave.

Parental leave

There are currently no laws or regulations in Kuwait regarding parental leave.

Other leave

Leave of Absence for Bereavement:In the case of the death of a first or second-degree parent, employees are entitled to three days of paid leave.A Muslim woman who loses her husband is entitled to four months and ten days of paid leave. Non-Muslim women are entitled to 21 paid days off.

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Termination requires a three-month notice period from both parties for employees paid on a monthly basis and one month for all other employees. A contract may be canceled without warning or pay if the employee causes considerable financial loss, commits fraud, or discloses confidential information that results in losses.

Notice period

Employees earning a monthly wage must give three months' notice from either side, while all others must give one month's notice.

Severance pay

Monthly-paid employees receive 15 days of compensation for each year of employment with the company they have been employed to for up to five years. For employees with more than five years of employment, a one month's wages for each year thereafter, which is capped to a maximum of 1.5 years salary. Employees paid by the hour, day, or week earn ten days' salary for each year of employment of up to five years, and fifteen days for each year thereafter, with a maximum of one year's salary.

Probation period

A probation period cannot be longer than 100 days.

07. Working hours


The standard workday is eight hours long and 48 hours long per week. However, during the fasting month of Ramadan, work hours are reduced to 36 hours per week. Employees who work more than five continuous hours per day receive a one-hour break and one day off per week (usually Friday). Certain employers also give employees Saturdays off. Employees who work on their weekly day off are entitled to receive 150% of their regular pay and an additional day off. Employees who work on a holiday are compensated at 200 percent of their regular salary.

Employers are prohibited from assigning female employees to evening shifts between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. or to jobs that cater primarily to male clients.


Overtime is permitted only with the employer's written authorization and is limited to two hours per day, three days per week. Overtime cannot exceed 180 hours or 90 days in a calendar year. During workdays, overtime pay is 125 percent of the regular rate.

08. Minimum wage


Kuwait’s minimum wage is 75 Kuwaiti dinars per month. Although the minimum wage equates to $250 a month, many employees make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

09. Employee benefits


Without proof of a health insurance policy, residence permits are not granted or renewed. The employer is responsible for paying health insurance premiums, which must cover medical examinations and necessary treatment at clinics by physicians and specialists; laboratory and x-ray tests; surgery operations, except plastic surgery; treatment, medication, and hospitalization in the event of an emergency; normal dental treatment and medication; and drugs and medicine.

Housing allowance (Apartment rentals range from $1,100 to $3,000 per month depending on location and number of bedrooms); education allowance; car allowance; transportation allowance; and phone allowance are some of the most common benefits in Kuwait.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in


to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in


has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into


simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in


give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in


via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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