Sunday , December 17 2017

Termination of services during pregnancy

I just want to ask for advice regarding my current situation in my company. I joined this construction company on Jan 9, 2017 and got pregnant during end of January. I informed the company of my situation and still they transferred my visa to their sponsorship last April 2017.

Just recently, they have asked me about my plan for the delivery and told them that I will have delivery here in Kuwait, I asked them to give me 2 months maternity leave even without pay (since I have joined less than a year), but to my surprise, they told me that they will terminate my contract because they cannot wait for me for 2 months and no one will cover for my work that is why they need to hire new staff as a replacement for me.

I asked them regarding my residency and they told me once I have stopped working, they will just give me two weeks and they will cancel my visa. They are also asking me to submit a resignation paper which I refused to do so since I didn’t resign and they are the ones who terminate me. I am still working and plan to stop on 15th Sept. I am local hire from private company and transferred to project visa. What will be the best advice that you can give me regarding this issue? I hope I can get an answer because I am so confused right now.

Name withheld

The company is acting irresponsibly especially that you told them about your pregnancy and they still went ahead and transferred your residency to their sponsorship. Under Kuwait Labour Law, no time frame is given after joining a company for a woman to be eligible for maternity leave. What the law talks about is that a woman is entitled to 70 days maternity leave whenever she gets pregnant. It clarifies however, that the birth of the child should be within these 70 days.

According to the law therefore, it does not matter if a woman joined a company a month, six months or nine months ago, she is entitled to seventy days maternity leave in each case.

From the above explanation given, it is clear that all the steps the company is talking are at variance with what the Kuwait Labour Law says and you are right in refusing to resign as they demand.

Let them fire you and armed with this termination letter, you can file a case against the company for breach of contract with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour through the Labour Department in your area.

On the other hand if you decide to ignore the issue of breach of contract, the company has to give you enough time to transfer your residency to another company but if they insist on giving you only two weeks for the transfer, then again the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour will compel them to act in consonance with the law?

Kindly send your queires to arabtimes@arabtimesonline.com or admin@arabtimesonline.com

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