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Help me get my dues, salaries and passport before I transfer my residence

I was locally hired on May 2013 by a Dubai company to work for their operations in Kuwait. My residence is with a sister company based in Kuwait. I was directly reporting to the Dubai Head Office and had no business relations with the local company in Kuwait.

The MD (to whom I was reporting), from the Dubai Head Office, called me on Oct 3 and said that they wanted to close down the Kuwait operation. He offered to relocate me to Abu Dhabi without giving any additional benefits even though he knows Abu Dhabi is 40% more expensive than Kuwait in living standards.

I even asked for other benefits to relocate to Abu Dhabi with my family. Moving from this country to another with the family without extra benefits is challenging for me and as such I resigned from my position with 3 months notice on Nov 20, 2013 as per the MD’s instructions. (My last working day is Jan 20, 2014) The MD asked me to leave the company with a 1-month salary but after several emails I convinced him to pay me 3 months salary along with the leave salary and the amount which I spent for the company.

The company agreed in writing (On acceptance of the resignation letter). But the situation changed when it came to the local company to pay my salaries (December, January) and the leave salary (settlement). The representative of local company asked me to hand over all the company’s assets and only then it would pay my settlements as it is under process.

But when I handed over all the stuff he said (verbally over phone) that “you will get paid when you transfer your residence”.

Kindly advise me what I should do? I do not have a job and it may take time to hunt for a new job. Also the new employer will transfer my residence only after completion of the 3-month probation time.

What will I do without a salary and also a job? My family is also with me and the children are school-going.

Kindly advise me on the legal terms linked to this issue and whether the Ministry of Social Affairs / Ministry of Justice can help me get my dues, salaries and passport before I transfer my residence.

Name withheld
Answer
: First of all you must understand that you can’t be given unlimited time to find a new job, in fact you should have lined up the new job before you resigned although you did so on the instructions of your MD.

The law does not define how much time should be given to you to find a job, the only occasion when you get more time is when your services are terminated but not when you resign but as you resigned on the instructions of your MD, you must bring this to the notice of your employers.

So you must discuss this issue with the management of your firm. You must also discuss the issues of your dues as it is normal for companies to pay the indemnity and all other dues on transfer of residence and not before such a transfer. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor will not interfere in such matters. But the best way would be to again talk to the MD of the firm and ask him to intervene.

Normally, a firm gives you enough time to transfer your residence — right through the probation period of your next company — but this is done through a mutual understanding with your current employers.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor may not interfere on the above issues because your rights have not been violated except on the issue of you not being given enough time to find a new job, especially since you resigned on the advice of the MD — which could mean you were forced into this situation.

You could make a similar argument on the issue of indemnity but it is totally at the discretion of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in deciding whether your case has any merit. It is up to you to convince the officials

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