New em­ploy­ment law amend­ments

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By At­tor­ney Fa­jer Ahmed

Iknow I have writ­ten about it pre­vi­ously, but I have been re­ceiv­ing a lot of ques­tions about the new July 9 em­ploy­ment amend­ments. The new amend­ments were made in or­der to close loop­holes that were ex­is­tent, and un­for­tu­nately it is still un­clear what these changes are (as I will ex­plain be­low). The law has also failed in some sense to bal­ance the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the em­ployer and the em­ployee. With that said, I think it is great that the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment mem­bers have con­sid­ered amend­ing the em­ploy­ment law in Kuwait, bring­ing about change that is es­sen­tial.

In English

Ques­tion: Can you please pro­vide us a copy of the amend­ments to the law in English?

Fa­jer: The law has been printed in Ara­bic in the of­fi­cial Kuwaiti gazette and it has not been printed or trans­lated in English of­fi­cially. Un­for­tu­nately, Kuwait em­ploy­ment laws have never been trans­lated to English. If you want the Ara­bic copy, you can find it in the July 9 print edi­tion of the gazette.

Satur­day

Ques­tion: Is Satur­day now an of­fi­cial hol­i­day? Fa­jer: No, Satur­day is not yet an of­fi­cial hol­i­day. Fri­day is an of­fi­cial hol­i­day, but the new law did men­tion that “week­ends” are not to be de­ducted from the an­nual leave, but it is not clear what day the week­end refers to. Since the law is not clear, we have yet to un­der­stand or pre­dict what a judge might rule in this sit­u­a­tion, as there are mul­ti­ple in­ter­pre­ta­tions.

In­dem­nity

Ques­tion: I left my job last March of 2016, and I still have not re­ceived my ter­mi­na­tion in­dem­nity. Ev­ery time I ask for my end of ser­vice ben­e­fits, I am told to come back in a few months. It has been a year and four months al­ready, and I am wor­ried, be­cause I heard that you only have one year to ask for your ter­mi­na­tion in­dem­nity should you leave your job. Is this true?

Fa­jer: First of all, I would like to ex­plain what the term statute of lim­i­ta­tion is - it is a lim­i­ta­tion for bring­ing of ac­tion of a cer­tain kind. This usu­ally is for a time pe­riod, and in this ex­am­ple for the em­ploy­ment law, the statute of lim­i­ta­tion is one year from the last date of work, which means you lose the right to ask for any ben­e­fits af­ter one year of leav­ing your job. To make things even more clear, it is not a year from the day of trans­fer­ring your visa or re­ceiv­ing your salary, but it is of ac­tu­ally leav­ing work.

Should you have any ques­tions or con­cerns, or you re­quire a con­sul­ta­tion, please email me at ask@fa­jerthelawyer.com.

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