Kuwaiti public sector staff claim 120,000 sick days in Ramadan

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Kuwaiti public sector employees claimed more than 120,000 sick days during the holy month of Ramadan and in the four days after the Eid al-Fitr holiday, this cost the state more than $11 million in lost productivity, official figures show.

Sick leave notes were issues to 12,372 employees between August 12 and 15, just after the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the al-Watan daily newspaper reported. Statistics from the Civil Service Commission further revealed that 25,048 sick leave notes were issued during the period, the resulting loss in productivity cost the state $1,761,464, the commission said.

During the month of Ramadan statistics showed that 96,116 sick days were taken by 42,231 government employees, the loss of productivity cost the state 9,259,711, according to the commission.

Despite a new database being put in place by the government to monitor the issuance of sick leave notes, there have been allegations of employees taking sick days illegally or having them signed off unscrupulously by medical professionals, according to the Kuwait Times newspaper.

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