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Transfer & settlement

I have been working for a very wellknown laboratory here in Kuwait for the last 8 years and just resigned last month. My last date of working with them is Jan 30, 2014 as I have already served them a 3 months notice. I have a job offer from a very good company and I will start working there on March 1, 2014.

My questions are:

1. I was hired locally by this laboratory, changing from a dependent visa to work visa. They are asking me now to surrender my passport for visa cancellation even though I still have a one and a half months left to work with them. Should I surrender it to them? Also, my new company told me that they will transfer me to their sponsorship after the 100 days probation period. My visa with the laboratory will expire in 2015 so I still have a lot of time. What should I do?

2. The Human Resource Dept from my current company told me that I will not get my last month salary (January 2014) and they will just give it to me together with my indemnity, is this right? Is it mentioned in the labor law?

3. I have a lot of leave balance because I was not able to utilize it yearly as my family is here and we leave the country only once in two years. When I resigned, the HR Dept suddenly told me that my leave balance cannot be carried over and I only have 10 days balance. There is no written agreement or announcements in our company that leave cannot be carried over to the next year. In fact, I have colleagues who have the same case like me and have 124 days or more balance. How can I solve this problem?

4. Regarding indemnity, they told me that I will receive it once my visa is transferred to my new company, is this right? Aren’t they supposed to give it to me after my last working day? 5. Lastly, can you please advise me what is the process of transferring of the visa to another company? Do I have to do anything? Or will the two companies do it for me? And during visa transferring process, can I keep my civil ID or passport so that if there will be police checking I will not be in trouble.

Name withheld
Your company is wrong on most counts but we will deal with all your questions one by one. First of all, on the issue of your passport, you should not surrender your passport because it is a personal document and the company can’t cancel your residence immediately ... it has to give you some time (a few weeks or months as is mutually agreed) to transfer your residence.

The company can’t stop your transfer to another firm because you have worked eight years with the company ... you need to have worked only one year if you joined the firm on a local transfer and three years if you were hired from abroad.

Secondly, on the issue of your last pay, the Labor Law says nothing on the issue but the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor allows the company to give the last salary with the indemnity. There is nothing in the law which prohibits such an action by the company. In fact most of the reputed firms resort to such a step. On the issue of accumulated leave, the company is very wrong.

Although the Kuwait Labor Law enacted on Feb 20, 2010, prohibits accumulation of over two months leave, it also very clear that if for any reason this leave has accumulated the company must pay for all the accumulated leave on the basis of the last remuneration. In this connection, Article 73 of the Kuwait Labor Law is very clear as it says “Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 70 & 71 (which talk about the annual leave entitlements) the worker shall be entitled to a cash consideration for all his accumulated annual leaves upon the expiry of his contract”.

So that is very clear that you should be paid for all your accumulated leaves, and the company is very wrong on this issue. And lastly, on the issue of the visa transfer process, you don’t have to do anything as the Mandoubs (company representatives) of both the companies can complete the transfer process. You can keep your Civil ID card with you as only the passport will be needed in the transfer process. Secondly, most of this work is now done through the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor website with the Mandoub having to go only to the Immigration Department for the stamping of the residence.


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