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Settlement & Dues

I have been a subscriber of the Arab Times since I came to Kuwait in 2007 and am a regular reader of this column. Kindly answer the following questions through the Legal Clinic.

I was working as a Project Engineer for a local company in Al Rai from Aug 09, 2010. I was terminated from service with a short notice on Jan 29, 2014. My last working day was Jan 31, 2014.

The company agreed to pay the salary for the 3-month notice period (February, March & April) through my bank account, but they added the firm would hold the third month’s salary i.e., for April until transfer my residence to a new company.

The company added this salary would be paid along with my indemnity. I received my salary for two months through my account. They have not mentioned any reason for termination in the letter and also gave me an Experience Certificate with good conduct during my tenure there.

My residence/ sponsorship was transferred to the new company on April 6, 2014 and my residency was stamped on April 22, 2014. The company called me on May 29, 2014 to collect my indemnity.

Now, the company is saying that they will give only my Indemnity and leave salary and not the third month salary (i.e. for April) as I didn’t transfer my residence within one month of termination. I have not agreed or signed any papers in this regard. a. Kindly advice whether the company is correct in doing so? As far as I know we have a 3-month period to find a new job and transfer the residence, which I have done. b. Am I entitled to 3 months full salary, if I get a new job and transfer my residence before the notice period ends? c. What will be my indemnity amount, as my last salary was KD 650.

My last vacation was from July-Aug 24, 2013. d. In case, the company doesn’t agree to pay my pending one month notice period salary, where should I go to voice my grievances, Shoun (Labor Office) in Farwaniya or at the Behbehbani Complex in Sharq and, whom I should I meet there.

Please provide the answers for my above questions so I can move in the right direction to receive my dues from my previous company

Name withheld
Answer:
The company can’t keep the third month’s salary regardless of the fact that you may have taken more than the normal/required time to transfer your residence to the new employer. Secondly, you are entitled to the full three months salary as long you don’t start working for your new sponsor before the completion of the three-month notice period.

On the issue of indemnity, you should get your indemnity for almost three years and nine months because the notice period has to be counted in the service. More importantly, as you were terminated, you should get the full indemnity.

The indemnity will be calculated as follows: 15 days salary for each year of service (yours is 3.75 years) = 3.75 x 15 = 56.25 days But these 56.25 days have to be divided by 26 (working days in a month) and multiplied by your salary to arrive at the indemnity = 56.25 / 26 = 2.16 months salary = 2.16 x KD 650 = KD 1,406.250 So KD 1,406.250 is the indemnity you should receive. You should also be paid for the balance of your annual leave and here also the three-month notice period must figure in the calculations. So, you have to be paid for the leave due to you for nine months. As you are entitled to 30 days leave every year — that is 11 months work and one month leave — you have to be paid for 24.5 days leave.

Here again, these 24.5 days have to be divided by 26 and multiplied by your salary = 24.5 / 26 x KD 650 = KD 630.640. So, besides your indemnity and the pay for the three-month notice you have to receive KD 630.640 for the balance of your annual leave. In case you fail to receive any of the above payments, you should file a case with the Labor Office in your area, wherever that is — Farwaniya or Sharq.

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