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Work with non-sponsor

I need your help with your valuable guidance and support with following two issues:

1. Case 1: I am a project manager in one of the IT companies here in Kuwait and during my course of job I used one of the sales lead for my benefits, the lead was not willing to work with my company due to high cost and showed willingness to work with me outside my company. I agreed and signed up to work with her outside my office for KD 320 (nearly 1/4 the cost offered by my company) out of which they paid me KD 120 as advance in Dec 17.

My employer was informed about this in February 2018 and is now willing to file a case against me for this. I refused to work on the lead’s project after getting into trouble with my employer and now the lead wants me to refund the KD 120 taken in advance the total amount paid so far which I am willing to but have no money left with me. 2.

Case 2: One of my existing clients who is completely unhappy with the services offered by my company and was suffering financial losses due to our improper implementation, asked me to help them with a small project, I offered to take it under my employer company name but in under no circumstances they wanted to work with my company and wanted someone I know to work for it, so I asked one of my friends to take this up and sent the client an offer under my name to keep things simple. No money was actually taken for this work since this post sending this offer the next day my employer came to know about it and with it he forced me to share my email credentials on the basis of which he came to know about case 1 above. The client is still in my favour and is willing to support me wherever possible since they understand it was something they requested and not out of my personal choice.

Since February 2018 when my employer came to know about both the cases they have made me sign a KD 5,000 bond in the court in the name of loan taken and since they are now exploiting me by paying me 1/2 to 1/4 of my salary. I asked them that I wanted to take advice from the embassy on the matter and they told me that they will file a case against me immediately if I did so hence I couldn’t.

Now they have also imposed travel ban on me and are saying that if they file a case against me I will be behind bars for at least 10 years. They want me to either pay them KD 5,000 to get myself home or do as they wish and get them more business and profits. I am in a serious financial burden right now since I don’t even have money for my survival and nothing to send home as well in past three months. I have huge responsibilities to fulfill and I am stuck in this situation. Could you please share your experience here with me on what can be done, because if I don’t support my family at this point they will also start suffering now since in three months all the savings have been consumed.

Name withheld

Answer: From all indications you stand in breach of the law by working for someone else without the expressed permission of your sponsor. Your action, could in addition, be in breach of the contract you signed with your employer. In most companies workers are made to sign non-disclosure agreements that contain confidentiality, nondisclosure and/or anti-competition language. In this perspective, if an employee is performing services that are similar to what is offered by the sponsor, or the employee is performing services for a client of the sponsor, then they are likely to be in breach of such contract provisions.

Moreover, third parties in Kuwait require the employer to represent and warrant that they will be responsible for any disputes, actions, and/or claims in connection with the employer providing such services.

However, the third party cannot escape liability for illegally hiring an employee and can also be in trouble with the labour department. In short, the legal options opened to you are almost non-existent and you have complicated the issue by signing a KD 5,000 bond in court in the name of a loan taken from the company. If you did not take such a loan, you should not have signed that bond no matter what pressure was brought on you. The only option left for you now is to apologise to the company and seek forgiveness.

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