Thursday , October 19 2017

Annual leave calculation – Weekends are not to be counted in calculation

Related to this topic and further to your statement in one of the previous related posts, you stated that a worker has a right to 30 working days annual leave.

Can you direct me to an official legal document to support that claim, because Article 70 of The Labor Law does not mention ‘working’ but just ‘days’, whereas in Article 32 (probation period) it clearly states ‘100 working days’.

The reason for asking this question is a dispute I am having with my company’s HR department about 19 days (out of 30) annual leave which I took from July 3 to 21 of this year. I claim that these 19 calendar days amount to 14 leave days (2 Fridays and 3 Eid days) and that my annual leave balance should be 16 days, whereas HR department claims that 19 calendar days equals to 19 leave days because neither Fridays nor Eid days can be deducted.

Fridays, because the law doesn’t say they are excluded (only official holidays and sick leave are) and Eid days because they can be excluded only if they fall at the beginning or towards the end of my leave and not if they fall in the middle.

Can I please have your expert opinion on this? Also, if my monthly salary is, say KD 1,000 what would be the proper calculation for July? Would part of the month spent on leave affect my monthly salary amount?

Name withheld

Answer: The problem we see here (in your case) is one of not being able to understand the various articles of the Kuwait Labor Law and also reading various articles of the law in isolation.

We have recently answered similar questions in a lot of detail twice and you have to understand that you don’t have to look for the exact words in the law.

To really understand the law, you have to look at various paragraphs of the law.

For example, Article 67 of the Kuwait Labor Law clearly states that weekends are not to be counted in calculation of various benefits, including leaves.

The weekends are not to be counted as “paid” days although you are paid for these during a normal month.

Secondly, Article 70 mentions annual leave to be paid leave of 30 days and the fact that official holidays and sick leaves are not to be counted.

So put the second para of Article 67 and 70 together and you have your answer — but only for the purpose of annual leave.

Now, the monthly salary calculation is a different matter.

Here you count the actual days of the month.

So, if you — for example — were missing for 19 days, you must be paid for only the remaining 12 days (as July is a 31-day month).

So, if you are earning KD 1,000, you should be paid 1,000/31×12 = KD 387.100 for the days you were not on annual leave.

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