Visa Costs recovery by Employers illegal!!
After receiving numerous queries on my website, comments and emails I have decided to write with regard to the above question.
This is one of the most asked queries to me: “Can my employer recover visa costs and recruitment costs from employees?”
In short the answer is, NO.
Ministerial order 52 of 1989, Article 6, makes it quite clear that anyone seeking a job cannot be charged a fee nor can an employer ask an employee to cover this expense, even if they do leave before the contract ends. No employee should be asked to pay for their residency visa or labour card. If the employer insists on recovering the costs from the employee, you should inform the company that you are aware of the Law. And if despite this the employer persists, you should file a complaint against the company at the Ministry of Labour.
There is another situation where the employee would have signed on the contract that if you resign before the contract ends, you will pay the costs of visa and other expenses. In such case, I believe you are legally bound to pay since you have signed and agreed that you would pay such costs. But this is not legally enforceable as employers can not ask for such cost reimbursement in the first place.
As mentioned in Khaleej Times:
It may also be noted that there are no laws which prescribe that an employee should reimburse the employer towards the visa expenses. Rather it shall be deemed to be in contravention of Article 60 of the Federal Law No 8 of 1980 Re: Regulation of Labour Relations which states:
“No amount of money may be deducted from a worker’s wage in respect of private claims, except in the following cases:
1) Repayment of loans or money advances paid to the worker in excess of his entitlements, provided that the amount deducted in this case shall not exceed 10 per cent of his wage.
2) Contributions that the workers are required by law to make from their wages, towards social security and insurance schemes.
3) The worker’s contributions to a provident fund or repayment of loans due thereto.
4) Contributions towards any welfare scheme or in respect of any other privileges or services provided by the employer and approved by the labour department.
5) Fines imposed upon the worker for any offence he commits.
6) Any debt exacted in execution of a court ruling, provided, however, that the deduction made in execution thereof should not exceed one-quarter of the wage due to the worker. Where there are several debts or creditors, the maximum deduction shall be half the worker’s wage, which shall be divided pro rata among the creditors, after payment of any legal alimony to the extent of one quarter of the worker’s wage.”
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