By Fajer Ahmed
I’m grateful for the opportunity to clarify the laws and regulations for the Kuwaiti society, providing both expats and Kuwaiti citizens with a better understanding of their rights and obligations in various daily scenarios they might encounter.
Question: I joined a company in February 2020 by local visa transfer (indefinite contract) and submitted my resignation with a 90-day notice period in the first week of March 2022 by email, but the company did not respond to the resignation email nor issued any written letter as an acknowledgment to my resignation email. I now have a few questions that I am hoping you will help me understand and get better clarification on the situation at hand.
- Is the email resignation notification valid as per Kuwait Law?
Fajer: If the email was sent to an official company email address, then yes, it is considered official, unless your contract or company HR policy specifically states that you may not notify the company via email, and it has to be provided in written form.
- Is it mandatory that the company needs to accept the resignation?
Fajer: The company may not accept your resignation with a three-month notice for a definite contract. As for an indefinite agreement, they have the right to expect you to complete your agreement period, unless they agree to the 90-day notice you have provided, or if your contract specifically states that you may terminate your agreement with the company with a 90-day notice.
- Since the company forcefully relieved me from my duties early (before completing the notice period), can I get the remaining days’ salary?
Fajer: Unfortunately, no, if the company has not asked you to come in to work, since the resignation was submitted by the employee and this is not a termination.
- If the company files an absconding case at the shuoon, what will be the duration to sort out the issue and how long will it normally take to transfer the visa to the new company?
Fajer: This depends on the situation, and I cannot speculate. But it may take anywhere between a day to a few months.
- If the company files an absconding case, how will I get notified about the complaint and the hearing date?
Fajer: You usually get notified through a text message on your mobile phone, or in written form to your registered address on your civil ID.
- Do I need the presence of a lawyer during the hearing at shuoon?
Fajer: You do not, but it is recommended that you do have a lawyer present with you, or at least a translator.
- Will shuoon help me to get my final settlement (pending salary and leave salary), or do I need to approach the court to get it?
Fajer: The shuoon is a medium for you to negotiate with your company, so it may be helpful, but if the company is not willing to cooperate, you will need to go to court.