Today I will be answering questions regarding the major concerns that I am receiving. I have discussed notice periods, termination indemnity and transfers on multiple occasions before and in more detail, but I still receive a lot of questions. So bear with me while I answer them.
But before I do so, before I lay out the law in front of you, I want to make one thing clear. No matter how many times I speak about these issues, you need to talk about them. You need to confront those that are not treating you right. I can always provide you with legal assistance and advice. The law is logical, it has no space for mistreatments. So I urge you to talk up to those that are mistreating you at the work field, peacefully of course.
Question: I have been working for a travel agency for two years, and now I want to leave. How many days’ notice period do I have to give?
Fajer: The answer to your question depends on a few factors. I can see that you work for a private company, so Kuwait’s Labor Law number 6 for 2010 is applicable to your situation. With that said, the law differentiates between two different work contracts; definite and indefinite term.
For definite term, you can leave once your contract is over (make sure it is not automatically renewable).
As for indefinite term, if your contract does not state otherwise, the notice period is three months. I should also make clear that your notice should be in writing, either via email or on paper (no texts or whatsapp)!
Question: is there an easy way of calculating my termination indemnity? Can you please explain how I can calculate it?
Fajer: First of all, I would like to make it clear that it is not a lawyer’s job to do the actual calculations. Even through the legal procedures, lawyers will not usually calculate. Instead, experts are called in to calculate the final amount (they are usually accountants).
With that said, the principle of the calculations is not that hard to master and I suggest that you calculate so you have a rough idea of your termination indemnity amount.
This will depend on whether you have been terminated or you have terminated the contract.
In the event where you are terminated:
* Less than 5 years of employment = 15 days’ pay of your salary.
* Between 5 to 10 years of employment = 30 days’ pay of your salary.
The total amount should not exceed an amount that is more than one year and a half of salary.
In the event where you have terminated your contract and it is an indefinite term contract:
* 3-5 years of employment – half of the indemnity mentioned above.
* 5-10 years of – two thirds of the indemnity mentioned above.
* 10 plus years – you will be entitled to your entire indemnity.
Let me give an example. You ended your indefinite contract (with a three month notice period) and your salary is KD 450 a month. You have been working for seven years with this company. How much is your termination indemnity? I have answered this question by breaking it down to simple steps, as follows:
1- Break down your salary into daily pay. You have 26 working days per month. Therefore, you should divide 450 by 26. That will average to KD 17.310
2- Calculate your termination indemnity as if you were being terminated. That is 15 days’ pay for the first 5 years and one month pay for the remaining 2 years . 15 x KD 17.310 x 5 = KD 1,298.10
30 x KD 17.310 x 2 = KD 1,038.6
Total = KD 2336.7
3- Calculate your termination indemnity according to the fact that you have terminated the contract. For 7 years, that is 2/3 of the total above.
Question: I have been hearing in the news and from word of mouth that you cannot transfer anymore from one employer to another, and that the government is being strict because they do not want expats to live in Kuwait anymore. Is this true?
Fajer: Well, it is true that the procedures and requirements for a work transfer are becoming more and more strict, but it is not just for expatriates, it is for nationals as well. I had to do a lot of paper work a few months ago at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.
Now that does not mean that you cannot transfer according to the law. Only those coming in as government contractors or for work at the Free Trade Zone will have difficulty transferring. They will need signatures from both employers and the papers will need to be submitted in their own certain area at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. Also, transfers will be difficult for those who have worked for less than a year in Kuwait.
For any legal questions or queries, email [email protected].
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed