A substantial drop in the revenues over the past two months has forced several Kuwaiti companies, including family-owned businesses, to downsize staff and to send many on long leave.
In some cases the termination rate reached 40 per cent of the work force, according to a newspaper.
Kuwait's Al Sseyassah daily yesterday quoted well-informed sources as saying the companies justified the measures, attributing them to the big drop in revenues over the past two months.
Sources said some companies may not make salary payment until May.
The sources said most of the companies taking such measures are still operational and directly deal with consumers. Weak demand has forced many companies manufacturing luxury goods to stop production, seriously affecting their financial position.
"Many of those companies have pursued a policy of cutting down on expenditure and have made plans to lay off employees," said the report.
The daily interviewed a staffer whose company has given him a compulsory leave without pay until further notice.
He said the company has informed a large number of factory workers it has taken the measure of giving them a compulsory leave without pay. The company justified this by saying it cannot meet its monthly commitments, such as salaries.
The employee said the company told workers the measure is temporary until the crisis is over.
"However, the absence of income will impact a large number of staff."
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