There are three main legal codes governing labour conditions in Kuwait. The employment conditions of civil servants are regulated by the Labour Law for Government Employees. Those who work in the oil industry are protected by the Labour Law of the Oil Sector. And the Labour Law of the Private Sector governs employment condittions in private businesses. Persons in domestic service, such as maids and chauffeurs, however are not covered by any particular code and must rely for protection on general principles of law.

Labour regulations in the private sector are enforced by the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour (MSA&L). The points discussed below are neither complete nor authoritative.

As well as domestic servants, persons on temporary contracts of less than six months are excluded from the scope of the private sector labour law. Where an employer’s head office is outside Kuwait, the labour law of the country where the employer has its head office, governs expatriates working in Kuwait, unless the employer has a branch in Kuwait which concluded the contract with the employee in which case Kuwaiti law applies.


* Keep photocopies of all documents so that they will be easier to replace if lost.
* The work permit (idah amal), which is issued to process a residency application, also needs to be shown at various government offices for differing purposes, such as the traffic department when applying for a driving licence. Only two copies are issued. One is given to the Immigration Department when obtaining residency and one is kept by the sponsoring company. If the latter is lost, the Labour Department will not issue another copy. Therefore always make sure that a photocopy is obtained and guard it carefully.

Contract of Employment
An employee’s terms of service are contained in his employment contract, which may be for a fixed time or it may be indefinite. A fixed time may not exceed five years.

The labour law specifies minimum limits below which terms of service may not fall, and if a clause in his contract gives an employee a lesser benefit than his right under the law, he is entitled to the minimum specified by law for that particular term.

An employment contract may be verbal or in writing. In either case, it must show at least (a) the remuneration payable, (b) a description of the nature of the job, (c) the date of appointment, and (d) its duration (if fixed). Where a contract is verbal then, in the event of a dispute, either side can use circumsta-ntial evidence to prove what is in it.
If the contract is in writing, it must be in Arabic. A translation into another language may be attached but the Arabic version is authoritative.

An employee may be hired on probation for a 100 days at most. During this time he may be terminated without notice, though accrued indemnity but not holiday pay must be paid. An employee may not be put on probation more than once by the same employer.

Remuneration & Deductions
Remuneration includes basic pay, incentives, commissions, obligatory bonuses, gratuities from third parties and allowances from which the employee benefits (such as housing allowance), but excludes allowances on account of expenses and profit shares. Payment of a bonus is obligatory if it is stipulated in the contract of employment or in the by-laws of the firm or it has been paid in the same amount regularly every year.

An employee’s total remuneration must be used when calculating terminal indemnity or compensation on account of injury. Where an employee is paid on a time basis the last salary payable is used, but if he is paid on a piece-work basis then the average wage paid to him for his actual work during the previous three months is used.

There is no minimum wage. Salaried employees must be paid at least once a month. Piece-workers and those on hourly or weekly wages must be paid every two weeks.

Persons working for a subcontractor, who has failed to pay their salaries, may demand payment from their employer’s superior contractor to the extent that the latter owes their employer money for work done. When an employer goes bankrupt, the outstanding salaries and termination benefits of his employees must be paid before his other creditors.

An employee may not be obliged to buy products made by his employer. If he owes his employer money then not more than 10% of his salary may be deducted to pay off his debt and he may not be charged interest. Where an employee’s salary is attached on account of debts to third parties, the deduction is limited to 25% of his salary.

Working Hours
The working hours of an adult are limited to 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week. A rest break of at least one hour must be allowed after 5 consecutive hours of work. Rest periods are not included in the calculation of working hours. These standard hours may be increased or decreased by the MSA&L in certain cases, such as hotel workers.

An employee is entitled to one full day off without pay a week. The traditional day off is Friday, but this is not a legal requirement in Kuwait.

An employee has a right to eight public holidays a year with full pay as follows: one day on Hijri New Year’s Day, one day on Ascension Day, two days each for Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, one day for the Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday, and one day for National Day. Liberation Day is not yet a statutory holiday in the private sector.

An employee is entitled to 14 days leave a year on full pay, provided he has completed one year of service, and 21 days after more than 5 years of continuous service. Official holidays and days of sick leave may not be counted as part of annual leave. The employer has the right to fix the date of leave. An employee must be given his holiday pay before he goes on leave and the last salary payable before the holidays must be used to calculate the amount due. If an employee’s services are tertminated then he is entitled to a cash payment in lieu of accumulated leave, irrespective of the number of years of leave due, and payment for the accumulated leave must be calculated on the basis of the last salary payable on the date of termination.

Sick Leave
Subject to a satisfactory medical report, an employee is entitled to sick leave for (a) the first six days of illness on full pay, (b) the next six days on 3/4 Pay, (c) the next six days on 1/2 Pay, (d) the next six days on 1/4 Pay, and (e) the next six days without Pay. This entitlement is the total entitlement in one year and not per period of sickness.

An employee may be required to work overtime provided it is necessary and the employer’s order is in writing. Overtime rates are (a) 1.25 times the basic hourly rate for excess hours worked on ordinary days, (b) 1.50 times the basic hourly rate for all hours worked on the weekly day off, and (c) twice the basic hourly rate for all hours worked on public holidays.

Overtime may only be worked on 90 days in a year and is limited to 2 hours a day, 6 hours a week, and 180 hours a year. An employee has the right to refuse to work overtime.

Female Employees
A woman performing the same work as a man must be paid equal remuneration. The standard working hours for women are the same as for men.

But women may not work at night (8pm to 7am) except in clinics, pharmacies, hotels, nursery schools, homes for the handicapped, airline and tourist offices, theatres and Entertainment City. They may work up to midnight in cooperative societies and public utilities, restaurants, beauty salons, tailoring shops, banks and offices. Night time working hours may be extended by the MSA&L during Ramadan, and on Eids and public holidays. Employers are obliged to arrange transport for women working at night.

Maternity Leave
A woman is entitled to maternity leave to a maximum of 30 days prior to delivery and 40 days after delivery on full pay. Thereafter she may be absent from work without pay for up to 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days, provided she presents a medical certificate stating that she is ill as a result of gestation and parturition. The annual leave entitlements of a woman who makes use of her maternity leave privileges in any year are forfeit on a day-per-day basis until her annual leave entitlement for that year is extinguished.

Termination Benefits
When the employment is terminated, an employee is entitled to a lump sum payment called termination indemnity.
For those paid monthly, termination indemnity is 15 days remuneration for each complete year of service for the first 5 years and 30 days for each complete year beyond 5 years, but the total indemnity is limited to one and a half year’s remuneration. For piece-rate workers and those paid on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, the indemnity is 10 days remuneration for each complete year of service for the first 5 years, and 15 days tpay for each complete year beyond 5 years, subject to a limit of one year’s remuneration. In both cases part years are calculated pro-rata.

Pay per day is calculated by dividing the monthly salary in the final year of employment by 26. The monthly salary used to calculate daily pay must include the elements mentioned under ‘remuneration’ above.

An employee who resigns with less than five years service is not entitled to indemnity. One who resigns with five years or more of service is entitled to 50% indemnity. But employees who are made redundant (irrespective of length of service), who reach retirement age, who are disabled at work, or who die are entitled to full indemnity. And a woman who marries while she is an employee and who resigns within six months of marriage is entitled to full indemnity.

Disciplinary Notices & Penalties
All employee related regulations must be issued as circulars or bulletins written in Arabic.
Miscreant employees may be penalised provided the employer issues regulations specifying the acts that are punishable. Penalties must be progressive and are limited as follows:

ü only one punishment may be inflicted for each act of misbehaviour.
ü a penalty cannot be imposed for an act committed outside the work place unless it was related to work.
ü a pay deduction cannot exceed 5 days pay a month.
ü a suspension from duty cannot exceed 10 days a month.
ü a penalty cannot be imposed for any act once 15 days have elapsed since the act was proved or since the usual date for the payment of wages.

Where an employment contract is for a fixed period, it terminates automatically at the end of the period, but if both parties then continue to implement it, it is deemed to be renewed indefinitely under the same terms and conditions. If either party terminates the contract before the end of the fixed period (and there is no clause in the contract to cover this) then the party terminating the contract must compensate the other. Where termination is made by the employer, compensation is limited to the wage the employee would have earned from the day of termination to the expiry of his contract. Where it is the employee who quits, compensation is limited to the employer’s actual loss.

Where an employment contract is for an unlimited period, either party may terminate it by notifying the other in writing at least 15 days prior to termination (where the employee is paid monthly) or 7 days before termination (where the employee is paid more frequently). Either party may pay the other 15 or 7 days salary, as appropriate, in lieu of notice.

An employer has the right to terminate an employee without notice, and without paying indemnity and compensation, if the employee:

* commits a wrongful act resulting in serious loss to the employer,
* repeatedly disobeys the instructions of the employer,
* disobeys the employer’s instructions concerning safety at work on a single occasion,
* has been absent from work for more than seven consecutive days without due cause,
* has been convicted of a crime affecting honour, honesty or morality,
* commits an act against public morality in the work place,
* assaults a fellow employee, the employer or his agent at work or on account of work,
* fails to carry out his obligations under the terms of his contract or the labour law,
* has used fraud to obtain work, or
* reveals any secrets relating to his employment.

An employee has the right to quit without notice before the expiry of his contract, and to collect his indemnity and not pay compensation, if:
* his employer fails to abide by the provisions of his contract or the labour law,
* the employee has been assaulted by the employer or his agent, or
* to continue in work would endanger his health.
An employee’s contract is terminated if he dies. It may be terminated if he fails (without fault) to perform his work or he exhausts his entitlement to sick leave. In all these cases his indemnity must be paid.

An employee’s contract is automati-cally terminated if his firm goes into liquidation or merges with another, or there is a lockout, or the firm is sold or inherited, and in all cases the employee is entitled to his termination indemnity. Where the firm is sold or inherited, the new owner must settle the indemnity, though the employee may continue in service with the new owner while reserving his right to indemnity for his previous service.

Health & Safety
Employers are obliged to take precautions to protect their employees against physical hazards and occupational diseases at work. They are also required to ensure that places of work are clean, well ventilated, adequately lit and in sanitary condition. Employers must supply first aid kits containing medicines, antiseptics and bandages, and place them visibly within reach of employees. Detailed standards in these matters are contained in resolutions issued by the MSA&L in consultation with the Ministry of Public Health.

Employees who work in areas not serviced by public transport must be provided with suitable transport. If they work in localities far from populated areas, the employer must provide suitable accommodation, potable water and the means to obtain supplies.

If an employee is injured at work, the employer must report the matter to the local police station and the MSA&L. The injured employee has the right to treatment, at the employer’s expense, in any government hospital or private clinic as the employer deems suitable. A doctor’s report, stating the period of treatment required, any disability arising from the accident and the employee’s fitness to continue in work, must be obtained.

During treatment, an injured employee is entitled to full pay for the first six months and, thereafter, half pay until he dies, or recovers, or is proved to be permanently disabled.

An employee has the right to compensation for work-related injuries without having to prove that the employer was at fault, provided he did not injure himself intentionally or was not guilty of gross malpractice (such as expressly contravening safety regulations). But where his injuries have made him more than 25% disabled or he has died of them, he (or his family) will be entitled to compensation even if he was guilty of gross malpractice.

Compensation varies with the severity of the injury. Where death has occurred, it is the greater of (a) 1500 days pay or (b) the legal blood money (currently KD10,000). For total permanent disability, it is the greater of (a) 2000 days pay or (b) one and one-third times the legal blood money. For partial permane-nt disability, compensation is calculated as a percentage of what would be due for total permanent disability.


Expatriates who are finding it difficult to get their legal rights in a work-related or other dispute may find the following organisations helpful:
Labour Departments at the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour

The MSA&L has five Labour Departments, one in each governorate. Labour disputes should be referred to one of these departments, along with documents to substantiate a claim. The Department will give advice on the merits of a case.


* Ensure that an employment contract is in writing.
* Check that the salary shown in the work permit reflects the salary shown in the employment contract as in the event of a dispute, the MS&L may rely on the work permit.
* Check that total remuneration is shown in the employment contract.
* Keep records of salary and other payments.
* Note that the time limit for filing cases in the Labour Court is one-year from the date employment is terminated.
* It is illegal for a foreigner to work in Kuwait except on a work visa and for their own sponsor. Part-time work requires special permission
* An employer cannot cancel an employee’s residence unless all dues and indemnities have been paid in full.
* An employer cannot give notice of termination during an employee’s sickness or injury.
* In case of dispute, always seek legal advice.

Kuwait Trade Union Federation
The federation has a special interest in preventing the abuse of expatriate labourers. It provides legal advice to labourers free of charge and also helps them to take action against their employers.

Human Rights Committee (HRC) at the National Assembly
Complaints on any matter, whether related to employment or other issues, can be sent to the HRC by letter or by fax, or can be discussed on the telephone or by visiting the National Assembly building in person. Persons who are refused entry to the National Assembly building should call the Committee directly. The HRC are particularly interested in expatriates who are having difficulty in obtaining their passports from their employers, and such persons are asked to fax a signed letter in Arabic stating the facts of their case, their civil ID and passport numbers, country of origin, and the name of their employer to the Committee who will treat the matter in strict confidence.

MSA&L Labour Departments
Kuwait City Tel 2406139 Fax 2406140
Hawalli Tel 2660228 Fax 2660227
Farwaniya Tel 4343871 Fax 4332456
Jahra Tel 4580055 Fax 4583821
Ahmadi Tel 3982178 Fax 3980986
Kuwait Trade Union Federation
General Secretary:
Tel 5616053 Fax 5627159
The HRC at the National Assembly
Tel 2458368 Fax 2455806

Complaints on any matter, whether related to employment or other issues, can be sent to the HRC by letter or by fax, or can be discussed on the telephone or by visiting the National Assembly building in person. Persons who are refused entry to the National Assembly building should call the Committee directly. The HRC are particularly interested in expatriates who are having difficulty in obtaining their passports from their employers, and such persons are asked to fax a signed letter in Arabic stating the facts of their case, their civil ID and passport numbers, country of origin, and the name of their employer to the Committee who will treat the matter in strict confidence.

Source – Kuwait Pocket Guide

Gulf’s expats are living the high life

Though this news is not refering to expats in Kuwait, it is interesting to see how expats are bringing in monies to thier countries

Russia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are home to the wealthiest expats, with Eurozone countries falling behind when it comes to paying for foreign expertise, according to a new survey of expats.

The third annual report commissioned by HSBC Bank International found finances among expats were generally positive with two-thirds, or 66 per cent, saying they have more disposable income to save and invest since moving abroad.

But the survey found expats in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Singapore enjoyed the greatest wealth overall, having higher salaries, more disposable income and more luxury items such as swimming pools, properties and yachts.

Expats in Russia topped the list for the second consecutive years with a third, or 36 per cent, reporting earnings of more than $250,000 a year – compared to two-thirds, or 62 per cent, of expats in Spain earning below $60,000.

HSBC spokeswoman Lisa Wood said the survey, conducted by research company GfK, showed the wealth gap was widening between the east and west, with expats in emerging economies leaving their counterparts in the Eurozone behind.

“The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies have fared well over the last year and as a result we’ve seen that these expat locations are particularly strong when it comes to expat finances,” Wood said.

“Eurozone countries were the worst-performing when looking at purely financial criteria and all featured in the bottom quartile of our table.”

The Expat Economic survey, part of HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey of 4,100 expats from 100 countries, ranked 25 countries on scores linked to annual income, monthly disposable income and a measure of defined luxuries.

When it came to salaries, Russia topped this table followed by Singapore and Bermuda. The UAE was eighth.

Cost of Living in Kuwait

The cost of living in Kuwait is similar with that of most of the European countries.  If  you choose to opt for locally produced products the cost of living in Kuwait will be lesser than the home country. However, the cost of living, just as is the case in any other countries or anywhere In the world, would largely depend on your personal lifestyle.

The cost of similar related items of utilities have been grouped together into several basket groups. The current cost of living for each basket is as follows:

Household Accommodation costs are very high compared to other places for items such as apartment purchase, mortgage rate, rental, and utilities. The cost of accommodation may be high at times, depending on the facilities offered and the location. Kuwait laws do not allow expatriates to buy house or other properties. Monthly rent for a single bed room flat with a hall and kitchen is about 100 to 150 KD depending on the locality. A two bed room flat with a hall and kitchen will be around 180 to 250 KD. There are many Indian families living in a shared apartment which means two families together will buy a two bedroom flat for rent.

Transport costs are very low compared to other places for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. Most people have a car, especially women. However, to get a driving license the required minimum salary is KD 400. Most of the people depend entirely on public transport. Call  taxis are relatively easy to find in Kuwait City. They usually charge a fixed 2 KD price for movements within the inner city. This grows up to 5-6 KD for journeys that involve crossing the whole city.

Alcohol & tobacco costs are low compared to other places for items such as beer, wine,spirits,  and cigarettes. Note that the alcohol is illegal in Kuwait. Driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable to the extend of 500 KD and up to one year imprisonment.

Clothing costs are high compared to other places. if you favour designer labels this isn’t peculiar to Kuwait, although there’s little need for winter clothing. Given, the hot climate in the region, plenty of clothing is unnecessary. Office wear for men is mostly shirt and tie, with the exception of formal occasions.

Education costs are very low compared to other places for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees . For those working in government / public sector, and who are sending kids to public schools, the cost of education for kids is free. But, if working in private sector, then you have to pay for their education.

Communication costs are high compared to other places for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile tariff and data costs. You should also allow for the cost of international telephone calls, although these are kept low by Kuwait’s government, who wants to encourage international business and investment in the region.

Furniture & Appliance costs are high compared to other places for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofa.

Grocery costs are average compared to other places for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. Cost for a family like upto 7 members and with fast growing kids, it would be about KD240 for groceries. If you are smaller family or single will definately cost much less. You can use the above to estimate your basic household expenses but like anywhere in the world, cost of food are going up in Kuwait as well.

Healthcare costs are average compared to other places for doctor visit, hospital stay, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. The cost of health service was increased during the recent years due to increase in the cost of labor, medical equipment and medicine, in addition to the increase of population and the increase of prices in general. The public healthcare system of kuwiat provides free or low-cost health care to all its residents.

Miscellaneous costs are high compared to other places for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. If you want to buy personal care products and services, the prices are less than other cities.

Personal Care costs are high compared to other places for items such as cosmetics, hair care, shampoo, conditioner and toiletries. Obviously, the cost of personal care items are depends on our lifestyle.

Recreation and Culture costs are high compared to other places for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets, DVD and CDs.

Restaurants and Hotel costs are very high compared to other places for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in restaurants, and take away food and beverages. In case, you choose to purchase internationally branded food items and household goods, you have to paying higher prices than in your home country.

Getting a Kuwait driving license – A fresh driving license

To get the driving license in Kuwait, one should apply for a learner’s license and pass a driving test. Residents holding driving licenses of some western countries shall follow a different path and use those driving license for obtaining a Kuwait Driving License According to a ministerial decision, expatriates applying for driving license should have

1. a university degree, (attested by the ministries)
2. a salary of not less than 400 dinars per month ( as per the shoon paper)
3. and a valid residence. They should have resided in Kuwait for at least two years before applying for a driving license provided they meet the conditions on age and health

Persons who are not allowed to get a Kuwaiti driving license on the strength of their national license must go to the License Section in the main Traffic Department in Shuwaikh and obtain approval for a learner’s license (istimara). To obtain approval, an expatriate must satisfy conditions mentioned above. However certain persons (see facing box) are exempt from these conditions.

* Drivers for companies and public bodies
* Domestic servants
* Advisors, judges, public prosecutors, experts and lawyers
* Doctors and Pharmacists
* Professors at universities, colleges and institutes of higher education
* Teachers, social workers and laboratory operators
* Engineers and assistant engineers
* Foreign women married to Kuwaiti men
* Foreign divorcees and widows of Kuwaiti men
* Foreign husbands and foreign children of Kuwaiti women
* Mosque imams, prayer callers and teachers of the Holy Quran
* Librarians employed by government authorities
* Nursing staff, first-aid assistants, and laboratory and x-ray technicians
* Journalists and pressmen
* Managers and graduate accountants
* Professional sports players and coaches
* Pilots, air-stewards and air-hostesses
* Housewives, provided they have children or provided their husbands have been resident earn at least KD 400/- a month
* Students
* Graduate computer programmers
* Undertakers and those in charge of burials

This is totally depending upon the designation in the shoon paper / work permit.Once you get the learners driving license, the applicant must go to the Licence Section in the Traffic Department in the governorate in which he or she lives. Documents required include

* Passport
* Original and copies of civil ID
* 4 passport-sized photographs
* Letter and attestation in a form by the Company, if employed and copy of work permit from Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor or   letter of employment from a ministry.
* Eye & blood test result (To get the eyesight certificate, a paper from the local traffic department must be obtained and taken to the Ministry of Public Health (MPH) testing clinic in Qortuba.)

The results of the tests can be picked up after two days of the test Submit all these to the License Section for registration for the driving test. A KD10 stamp must be affixed to the application form. Then the learner must go to the driving test center at the governorate’s Traffic Department to fix a date for a driving test, for which a KD10 booking fee is levied. KD10 must also be paid on the day of the test.

Kuwait amends expat driving license rules

The amendment to the law adds that after a license obtained by a driver or a company representative will be discarded as the persons of the mentioned profession change their profession or lose their residency. They can only apply for another license after a period of no less than two years.


To renew a driving license in Kuwait, applicants have to apply before one month from the date of expiry of the same. If the application is late for more than five years after the date of expiry of the license, the applicant should undergo all the formalities to obtain a fresh license.The procedure required for renewal of driving license is to visit the general traffic department concerned and submit the required documents.


1. Expired Driving License.
2. Original civil ID and a copy.
3. One personal photocopy

Applicants up to the age of 40 are exempt from the test and are given a ten year renewal of their driving licenses for KD10.

Note: If the applicants who are older than 60 years old must have the medical check-up again.

Sheesha Place Picks

Gautam Raj asked me for my recommendations on nice sheesha places. While I don’t sheesh, I go to a lot of nice places with my friends who do. I also have problems breathing where there is poor ventilation, so my picks are based on places with good air circulation.

Here are the Desert Girl picks. Please feel free to recommend your own. Help a sister out and recommend places where incredibly handsome/sexy men frequent, please! And note: I’m not looking to go to gins thaleth (“3rd gender”)/transvestite hang-outs! Keep that info for somebody else’s blog, k? (I gots my own drama and it doesn’t come in that package.)

* Movenpick Bidaa. Tree-lined outdoor terrace facing the sea. Really good buffet.
* Crowne Plaza: Ayam Zaman. Good for indoor sheesha when it is too hot to smoke outside. Terraces provide good privacy. Good ventillation.
* Movenpick FTZ: Nice outdoor garden and tents.
* Awtar Libnan at Marina Mall. Nice outdoor terrace and good, inexpensive food.
* Valdez Palace, Humood Tower, downtown Kuwait. Nice outdoor terrace and large indoor area.
* Hilton. Several nice outdoor areas facing the sea (but sheesha is expensive from what I hear). They have tents on the beach with buffet/sheesha.
* Ruby Tuesdays next to Kuwait Towers has sheesha outside. I like this as I can get an actual REAL crabcake and sit next to the sea.
* Ibis Hotel Salmiya. Italian/continental restaurant has a large outdoor terrace facing the Gulf Road/Sea.

I don’t know if they still serve sheesha, but the Rotana Al-Manshar rooftop used to and it is GORGEOUS. Although I haven’t been there yet (invitations accepted), I have heard that 7 Bars rooftop is really nice.

Comment on the original post at Desert Girl. This post is cross posted from and authored by Desert Girl.

Creation was Godless says Hawking

Dr. Stephen Hawking is known for his intellect. However, he recently published extracts of his book suggesting that God is not the creator of the Universe. Don’t you think that it is foolish? Read the news about it.

Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

God no longer has any place in theories on the creation of the Universe due to a series of developments in physics, British scientist Stephen Hawking said in extracts published Thursday from a new book.

In a hardening of the more accommodating position on religion that he took in his 1988 international best-seller ” A Brief History of Time“, Hawking said the Big Bang was merely the consequence of the law of gravity.

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist,” he writes in ” The Grand Design“, which is being serialized by The Times newspaper.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going,” added the wheelchair-bound expert.

Hawking has achieved worldwide fame for his research, writing and television documentaries despite suffering from motor neurone disease since the age of 21 has left him disabled and dependent on a voice synthesizer.

In “A Brief History of Time”, Hawking had suggested that the idea of God or a divine being was not necessarily incompatible with a scientific understanding of the Universe.

But in his latest work, Hawking cites the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting a star outside our own Solar System as a turning point against Isaac Newton’s belief that the Universe could not have arisen out of chaos.

“That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions — the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth- Sun distance and solar mass — far less remarkable, and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings,” he wrote.

Hawking argued earlier this year that mankind’s only chance of long-term survival lies in colonizing space, as humans drain Earth of resources and face a terrifying array of new threats.

He also warned in a recent television series that mankind should avoid contact with aliens at all costs, as the consequences could be devastating.