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Contract violation

All over Kuwait it is common to see companies hiring people from abroad for a certain designation, duration and a certain salary but on landing in Kuwait these employees soon learn that they have to work in totally a different field and at a salary much lower than what was promised. Are the companies right in doing so? If not, what can be done by the affected persons to get their rights, especially if there is no written contract?

Name withheld
Answer:
The companies are totally wrong on this issue and are not allowed by law (which is very clear on this point) to make any changes in the contract without the consent of employee. Even in this case the company is not allowed to reduce the salary. In these case, we need to have a detailed look at Article 28 of the Kuwait Labor Law, enacted on Feb 20, 2010 which states as follows: “The work contract shall be in writing and contain, in particular, the signing and effective dates of the contract, the amount of remuneration, the term of the contract — if it is for a specific period — and the nature of work. “The contract shall be made in three copies, one for each party with the third for the competent authority at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.

In the event where the work contract is not established by means of a written contract, it shall be deemed to exist and the worker may, in such an event, establish his rights by means of evidence. “Regardless of whether the work contract is for a specific period or an indefinite term, the remuneration of the worker may not be reduced during the contract validity period.

Any agreement to the contrary, whether made before or after the effective date of the contract, shall be deemed null and void. “The employer may not assign to the worker any task that is not consistent with the nature of the work stated in the contract or that is unsuitable for the worker’s qualifications and experience on the basis of which the contract was signed with him.” So it is clear that a worker can’t be assigned to any work other than what is mentioned in his contract, nor can his pay be reduced. This article also clarifies that a verbal contract is accepted provided that there is evidence which proves the terms of the contract. And lastly, if your rights are being violated you can approach the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor — through the Labor Office in your area — and file a complaint to demand your rights.

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