Resigning can be such a hard decision to make, but when we are working for someone, we eventually have to leave. Some of us leave because we reached retirement age, or retirement goal, for health reasons, or maybe we are moving to somewhere new. Whatever the reason is, we all have to eventually leave.

Making the decision to leave your workplace has a lot of legal implications, and so I wanted to look at them closely. I know that the majority of my topics recently have been about issues that arise at the workplace, but this is because the majority of the questions I receive are work-related.

Probation period
Question: My understanding is that if I am still in the probation period, I can leave at any time. But I could not leave Kuwait because my employer was obtaining my visa for me and therefore my passport was not with me.
Fajer: Yes, the probation period is there for you to ‘test’ your job and see whether or not it is the ‘right’ job for you. When you are still in the probation period, you can leave without any legal implications. Some people just leave the country, without even telling their employer. But it is both more professional and courteous to let your employer know. You do not have to resign, but it is good to figure things out with your employer and communicate. You can simply ask for your passport.

Acceptance of Resignation
Question: My boss is not accepting my resignation – I have tried submitting it a few times. What can I do?
Fajer: If your direct boss does not want to accept your resignation in person, then I suggest (and I suggest this regardless) that you submit your resignation via email, fax or courier (like DHL, FedEx and so on). Get a receipt that you have sent your resignation letter. You can also try sending it to the HR department.

Reasons for Resignation
Question: I am resigning because I am not being treated well at work, because I am working overtime, I am not getting days off and so on. Do you think this is the right step?
Fajer: No, I see people making this mistake all the time. Instead of submitting the resignation to your employer, I would much rather you submitted your resignation at the Shoon (Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) stating all the violations that your employer has done towards you. I usually give this advice to my clients because when you resign, you are legally letting go of your rights, and if your reason for resignation is not documented clearly, then you lose some of your rights, that depending on your years of employment, can be your termination indemnity.

Three Months’ Notice
Question: As per my contract, I have a three-month notice that I have to serve to my boss. However, two different HR professionals have informed me that my boss has the right to tell me that my services are not needed and can ask me to stop coming without any notice and stop paying me thereafter. I was wondering if this is correct.
Fajer: Even though your boss has the right to tell you not to attend work during your three-month notice period before resignation, they do not have the right to withhold your three months’ salary. Let me give an example – you submit your resignation and as per your contract, you have to serve three months. After one month, your boss asks you not to come in – that is legally okay, if you are paid for the two other months. Also it is important here to get this in writing from your boss, so you will not be accused of absconding.

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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed