By Fajer Ahmed
Kuwait’s beauty is in its diversity, and gratitude should be shown to those who travel to Kuwait leaving their families behind to become a part of our community. Today I chose questions by a foreign nurse because I personally have a lot of appreciation for foreign nurses and what they offer to the Kuwaiti community.
Question: I am a registered nurse working in a private medical center. I’ve been with the current company for eight months and as per Kuwait’s labor law, I was told I have to work in the current company for three years to get a release. I just want to inquire and get some clarifications regarding getting a new job with another company.
Fajer: Asking you to stay three years before transferring is not according to Kuwait labor law, but might be according to your agreement with the company and Public Authority of Manpower regulations at that time.
Question: Can the new company buy out the remaining contract on my current job prior to the three years? Do I have the option to transfer to another employer without going back to my country of origin even if the two- or three-year contract has not been fulfilled yet?
Fajer: I am not sure what you mean by buyout, but your new company could convince your current company to release you from your contract, especially if you have completed one year, without going back to your country of origin.
Questions: What are my options if my current company is violating Kuwaiti laws? For example, unpaid overtime (during regular work days and Ramadan), degrading comments like accusations of being incompetent with my job (instead of treating us like a family, we are treated as insignificant people), racism, salary cut threats, living under the same accommodation as our female manager, no pay slips and no payroll bank account opened for us (we only get our salary in cash and even the receipts of our salary, they say it is not allowed to take a picture for our reference).
Fajer: I am really sorry you are dealing with this, which seem like a lot of violations. You should be receiving your salary though a bank transfer. If you are receiving your salary through cash, you should be able to get a receipt. Honestly this is not to their benefit, as you can sue them for not being paid.
I would highly suggest if you are in a company who is violating Kuwait Labor Law to go to shoon (manpower authority) and file a complaint.