What is Absconding or “Run Away” Case

Absconding is a legal term used in Kuwait more commonly than in other countries. Absconding from work is when an employee in Kuwait does not show up for duty at work without submitting a reason. I have provided many consultations regarding this topic and the reason for absconding differs from one employee to another. Sometimes an employee does not come to work for weeks on end because of a real-life or family death emergency. With that said though, the law has criminalized absconding under certain circumstances. Even though this is not common in many other countries, the law in Kuwait aims to protect the employer. The country is also trying to avoid the large number of expats in Kuwait and illegal migrants. More and more companies around the world are using technology tools to allow their employees more freedom when it comes to working hours, and therefore I do expect the dynamic of the laws to change in the near future as we develop a healthier work environment that looks at the end target instead of having the employee physically present x number of hours a day. 

– Attorney Fajeer Ahmed Kuwait Times Published October 24th 2019



In Kuwait the absconding cases can be categorize into two types for visa 20 or Domestic workers the employer can file absconding to Public Authority for Manpower (Domestic Workers Department) or in Police Station.  While for Visa 18 (Project, Skilled or Office Laborers) the employer or company can file to shoun (Manpower Department) and after some time if the worker did not appear they will forward the case to Ministry of Interior.

Both of the absconding cases filed in manpower(either for Domestic or for Non-Household department) can be rectified or solved if the workers show up on that department and work with the reported case by the employer by labor inspector or investigators.  But if the case already lodge and recorded under Ministry of Interior we cannot do anything about it and deportation procedure is the only option that can be done.

– Sandigan Kuwait