While the Kuwaiti Labor Law provides that either the employer or employee can terminate an employment agreement during the probation period without a notice and if terminated by the employer then they must settle any end of service benefits. While many parties understand this legal concept, many are confused when it comes to determining when the probation period commences and terminates.
There are many disputes in this regard because an employer or employee may attempt to terminate the agreement beyond the probation period because they did not accurately calculate the days. This typically arises when an employee commences work prior to the contracted start date. For calculation purposes, the date that the employer starts paying the employee shall determine the first date of the probation period. For example, if the employment contract specifies Feb 1, 2018 as the start date with a 90-day probation period but employee reports to work on Jan 15, 2018 (and wages are paid from such date), the probation period shall start on Jan 15, 2018 and end on April 15, 2018.
The labor law further specifies that if a contract is of a fixed term and one party terminates beyond the probation period without cause, then the terminating party shall be liable to the other party for damages. However neither party is liable to the other for more than the employee’s wages for the remaining period of the contract. For example (using the probation period mentioned above), if an employer or employee cancels a 1-year fixed term employment contract (monthly salary of KWD 350) without cause on April 16, 2018 or beyond, then the terminating party can be liable to the other for upto KWD 3,150.
It is very important to confirm your dates and consult with a lobor attorney before submitting a termination notice to make sure your rights are protected.
By Najmah Mateese Brown, Esq.