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Final settlement

I need advice from you on the following issue. I was working for a local company from 29/01/1997 as a waiter and when I initially came to Kuwait my salary was KD 22 but on leaving this company my salary was KD 100. Before I stopped work I gave a 3-month notice and it was exactly after 3 months that I stopped working. I also went to Shoun (Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor) to register a case against the company.

I faced lots of problem in Shoun but anyhow at last I got a release but my final settlement case is still going on.

My case has now been transferred from Maliya court to the Experts Department in Hawally. I am now again facing some problems from the company because their lawyer brought some papers to show to the experts that indicates that I got all my settlement. But it’s not true... yes, that signature was mine and so was the thumb print but the company took the signature and thumb print by force when I came to Kuwait. I had been asked to come to the head office and the officials there told me to sign a certain paper and also put a thumb print. When I asked why I was being made to sign a blank paper, the personnel manager ordered me to sign the paper saying “we are not going to take your property.

This is our company policy that you have to sign this paper and also give a thumb print.” So I signed the paper because that personnel manager was my cousin brother ... so I couldn’t say anything to him. He got me the visa so I did what he wanted.

I now know that the paper they made me sign indicated that I had got my final settlement. When I left this company my salary was KD 100 but on my work permit it’s KD 60. I have 5-year bank statements to prove this fact. What can I do.”

Name withheld

Answer: Yours is a very familiar story...the same has happened to a lot of people in such companies. They are made to sign such papers because they are afraid of losing their jobs, so in a way they have no option but to do so. Yes, the fault is yours and at the moment it may look like that there is no way out but all is not lost. You can file a case with the police against the company for forging the document. You must give all the facts... don’t forget to tell the police when you signed the document. The document will be sent to the Kuwait Forensics Department to verify your claim. On checking the ink on the document, Forensics can easily determine when you signed the document and when the other additions were made. Experts at Forensics will easily determine how long ago the document was signed. And if it is proved that the document was forged the company could face a lot of legal action. On the question of the calculation of your indemnity, your last pay must be used as the basis of calculation and the bank documents are enough proof of how much you were getting. You should provide the same to the officials at the Experts Department and also the Ministry of Social Affairs of Labor. And please remember that if the papers are not accepted by the above departments you can take the case to court and provide them all the documents. Please also remember that if you can’t afford a lawyer, the court will arrange one for you.

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