I know that I often write about the Kuwait labor law. This is because most of the questions that I receive every day from clients and readers are regarding companies or employment issues. I am very grateful that I get to assist employers and employees alike to have a more healthy and fruitful relationship together whilst following the labor law and create mutual consent for both parties. It can be difficult sometimes to find a balance between the employer and employee, and therefore for the next few weeks, I will be writing about more in-depth topics that concern employers and employees alike to help create that balance. Today I have answered questions regarding salary cuts.
Question: My salary is based on commission only, and I was okay with that, because my company was making a lot of profit and I was getting my commission/percentage of that. Now that the company is not doing so well, my boss has decided not to give us a salary. Is this legal? We are still expected to go to work.
Fajer: Like I mentioned above, it can be very difficult at times to find that balance between the employer and the employee, and although the employer is trying to provide jobs and create a business, he or she was not expecting to not make profits this month and that might put them in a situation. Although commission-based salaries, ie salaries based on the net profits of a company, are permissible under Kuwaiti law, Kuwait labor law has mandated that monetary compensation needs to be provided to the client even if the company or establishment makes no net profit. Also, the commission received should be more than what an average employee with that job would receive in the Kuwaiti market.
Mistakes at work
Question: I only received half of my salary this month and this is because my boss said that I have made many technical mistakes at work. This really puts me in a situation at home with my family. I just wanted to confirm if this is legal?
Fajer: Salary deductions because of technical mistakes are legal, but there is a certain process under Kuwait labor law that needs to be followed. Also, the salary deduction cannot be more than that of five working days, so receiving only half of your income is a labor law violation in this situation. If your technical mistakes, or days that you have missed, or other concerns that your employer are equal to more than five working-day salary cuts, anything more than five days needs to be taken out of your next month’s salary.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed