Legal Advice

Legal advice is the giving of a professional or formal opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law in relation to a particular factual situation. The provision of legal advice will often involve analyzing a set of facts and advising a person to take a specific course of action based on the applicable law.

I am a resigned employee of a private company (with 12 years service) waiting to exit Kuwait. I have waited for 5 months without work and income (after the notice period of 3 months!) to get my ‘Indemnity’; but it seems my company is not going to settle it soon. As I cannot stay in Kuwait indefinitely, I am planning to file a case in Kuwait Labor Court through some legal firm. In this regard kindly advice, whether I am eligible to get paid for the waiting period of 5 months also along with the indemnity. Also is it necessary to be present in Kuwait until the final court verdict.

Name withheld

Answer: Congratulations for mustering the courage to take on this company through a court action. Indeed many other ex-employees find themselves in this situation but lack the courage to take on the companies concerned. Since you are hiring a lawyer to take up your case, we think the issue of the 5 months you have waited for your indemnity and without any source of income should be left to the lawyer to decide on how to proceed on that angle.

On the necessity of being present while the case is being pursued, it is your choice to make. Indeed you can issue a power of attorney for the case to be decided while you are outside Kuwait.

However experience has shown that when the complaint is outside the jurisdiction of the court, a lot of complications including disinterest, collusions and abuse of trust arise. So to prevent these, we advise that you stay around till final judgement of the case.

Source: Arab Times

I have been working in a local Kuwaiti contracting company for the last 18 months. My question is after how many years can I seek transfer to another company in Kuwait.

Name withheld

Answer: If your current company brought you to Kuwait from your home country, then you have to work for them for a total of three years to be able to transfer to another company. On the other hand if you were hired locally you need to work one year for the company if you are not a university graduate; but if you are a graduate you can ask for a transfer at any point in time during your service to the company. We must point out, however, that if the type of visa you are holding is a project visa, you cannot transfer to just any other company of your choice but only to a company that would issue you a project visa.

Source: Arab Times

I am working in the private sector as physiotherapist. I would like to know that if it is essential to have minimum KD 450 salary to make residence for baby born in Kuwait. My wife is on dependent visa and expected due date is in December 2017. I have below KD 450 salary. Waiting for your kind reply.

Name withheld

Answer: Since your wife is on a dependent visa sponsored by you, you will have no difficulty in getting a residence permit for your expected baby. The law that was passed and put the salary cap of KD 450 for one to qualify to sponsor someone on family visa is not applied retroactively. So you should not entertain any fears because you are earning less than KD 450 per month.

Source: Arab Times

I am university degree holder and worked in a reputed private company for almost 9 years. Recently I resigned from this company and joined in a new private company. Now I finished my probation period with new company and one month back my visa was transferred. When I checked the Iznamal paper its written my visa is under Government project. My question is, I got some other good opportunity in another private company. Can I transfer my visa to other company. Is there any time period or fee to transfer. Please note the following: 1. I have been working in Kuwait since August 2008. 2. I am a BE Degree holder. 3. Joined new company in March 2017. 4. 1 month back new company transferred my work permit to Government project. 5. Now I want to transfer to another private company.

Name withheld 
Answer: You will not have any problems in transferring your visa back to private sector company since you were locally hired for a government project. You would have faced problems in a visa transfer if originally you were brought to Kuwait under a project visa.

Source: Arab Times

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.

Name withheld 
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.

Source: Arab Times

I just want to inquire if I can apply for a family visa for my husband? and how? thank you!

Name withheld

Answer: No, you can’t. Under Kuwait law it is only the man who can sponsor his family members on dependent visa. You can only invite your husband to Kuwait on a visit visa on condition that you are gainfully employed and earning a monthly salary not below KD 200.

 Source: Arab Times

I have completed 3 years in Kuwait with mazra’a (farm visa). Can I transfer this visa to other category. I have professional (B-Tech) degree certificate.

Name withheld

Answer: Regardless the qualifications you hold, you cannot transfer your farm visa to another visa category. Indeed you can only apply to a different sponsor but on the same farm visa.

Source: Arab Times

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