I am working with a packaging factory as a Sales Manager. My remuneration package includes a base salary+commissions on a slab basis upon achieving targets on a month by month basis. In addition there are other trading items on which I receive commissions too. The agreement I had with the owner of the company was that I would receive KD 1,000 as a drawing from my accrued commissions every month to supplement my salary.
Over the last 1-1/2 years since the joining of a new GM, he along with the finance manager are trying different tricks in order not to pay me this monthly payment. Initially, the commissions were deemed to be accrued once the finished goods were delivered and invoices sent; however, they added a clause saying that commission payments will only be made after collecting the full invoiced amount. Even after accepting that and having in excess of KD 10,000 in accrued commissions, the GM mentioned that there were a couple of companies that had defaulted on their payments and the entire amount in excess of KD 10,000 was set against my accrued commissions.
My question is whether it is legal for the GM of the company to slide the liability of non paying customers onto the sales team, especially since there has been no mistake on my part while conducting business with said client? If so, is it right on his part to block the whole amount from my commissions which in turn adversely affects my day to day familial expenses? If not, what steps should I take to ensure that I am being treated fairly. Awaiting your reply on the same at the earliest.
Answer: In accordance with Kuwait labour law, before an employee commences work, he/she must enter into an employment contract with the employer. This contract must be in writing and specify the effective date, terms, remuneration and nature of work. Proceeding from the above preamble, we will argue that if the remuneration package as outlined by you was captured in your work contract with the employer, then it would be wrong for the employer to vary the terms of the contract to his advantage and to your disadvantage.
For the General Manager to slide the liability of non-paying customers onto the sales team means that the team is being asked to take on a duty of debt-collection. In this scenario, the General Manager will be violating the law which clearly states that it shall not be permissible for the employer to assign the laborer to perform work that is not comparable with the nature of the work exhibited in the contract or is not suitable with the qualifications and experiences of the laborer on the basis of which it was contracted. Having established that General Manager is not respecting the law, we can say that it is wrong for him to block the whole amount of commissions due you. We therefore advise that you file a complaint with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour through the Labour Department in your area to seek redress.
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