KUWAIT: Two million and thirty sick leaves were taken by as many as 150,000 public sector employees between Jan 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012, a local newspaper reported yesterday quoting a government source privy to data. “The government is helpless in the face of an overwhelming number of sick leaves taken by employees from different state departments throughout the year,” said the insider who spoke to Al-Jarida on the condition of anonymity.
He added that female employees took the “lion’s share” of sick leaves, most of them reported from the education, health, information and social affairs and labor ministries. The government had tried to put an end to this problem through an electronic system introduced last year which connects the databases of state departments with the Civil Service Commission’s database. It was hoped that the system would enable the CSC to keep track of sick leaves taken by state employees and match them with doctor ’s appointments which are updated in the officer’s profile.
However, the system has so far failed to curb the increase due to “lack of deterrent penalties”. The source said the CSC was “studying the possibility of taking tough penalties against employees with high number of sick leaves.” The CSC also plans to monitor doctors rumored to be signing sick leave applications of malingerers unlawfully, the source added.