If I have an employment contract for a certain period of time and I resign before the end of my contract, can my employer charge me for the work visa and government related fees?
No the employer is not allowed to charge you with the work permit / visa fees , but they have the right to sue for damages ( As a result of the breach – or premature cancellation of a time-specified contract ).
- It is illegal for any employer to charge the employee any work permit / work visa related expenses, (including LMRA’s monthly fees) - all these fees are definitely the employer’s definitive responsibility (Act No. 19 for 2006). The employer is also responsible for the plane ticket home (Check Articles 23, 27 and 36 of Act No. 19 for 2006).
- Employees should report the legal violations (with supporting documents as evidence) to LMRA as well as lodge a formal complaint at the Ministry of Labour, if employers are forcing them to pay for their work permit / Work Visa and related expenses, then inform LMRA of the MOL’s case number.
- Although the employer is fully responsible for the visa and travel expenses, this does not mean that the employer cannot claim other damages against the employee at the ministry of Labour, or at the court of law (If he wishes to do so) in case the employee did not fulfill his contract terms, resulting in financial losses to the employer.
Employers can also claim other incurred expenses (not including LMRA fees, ticket or other government expenses) those expenses or losses must be proven by documents. Both the employer and the employee can reach an amicable agreement on that, otherwise this should be submitted as a complaint case at the ministry of Labour or at the court of law only they can decide who is supposed to pay who, and how much is that payment going to be (Without a court resolution or a mutual agreement, this should not be automatically or arbitrarily deducted from the employee’s dues, as the employer may wish to do so!)
Last Update: Wednesday 17 February 2010