Nurse job contract of 2 yrs but forced to sign 5 years term contract in Kuwait

I am a nurse hired abroad in December 2013 and we were told that we have a 2-year contract, but after a few months here in Kuwait we were forced to sign a 5-year contract with the clinic, and there is a note that says “5 year fixed term contract, automatically renewed with the consent of both parties”.

They told us that the 5 years would mean that we cannot transfer to another clinic but we can resign any time after 2 to 3 years. That’s whey we agreed to sign the contact. But now when we hand in our resignation letters we were told that they will accept if we will pay for the remaining 2 years written on the contract or they will send us for fingerprinting and blacklist us.

■ Is it true that we need to pay for the remaining 2 years?

■ Can they really blacklist us if we do not pay? Thank you. Hope to find the answers to our problem.

Name withheld

Answer: Rule of thumb is that your work contract is binding, and if it is stipulated on the contract that you will have to pay for the remaining years then it cannot be avoided. This stands even if what they have told you is otherwise, meaning that even if they didn’t tell you this before you signed the contract, it will still stand in the courts since the courts will deal mainly with what the contract says and not what you were told verbally which contradicts what is in the contract. However, you can always challenge the clinic if you believe that they are treating you unjustly by visiting the Public Authority for Manpower and explaining to them your issue.

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