Salary dispute with government

| 05/10/2016

I have a family member who worked for the government on a work permit and they will not release his final pay cheque; it’s been more than two months. He’s gotten a huge runaround. What recourse do we have?

Auntie’s answer: Before I reply I want to clarify that I believe your relative was on contract with the government and not on a work permit, since those are only required within the private sector.

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As for your family member resolving this issue, he is going to have a bit of work to do.

And here’s why: according to an officer with the Department of Labour and Pensions, the Labour Law (2011 Revision), which contains various sections concerning salary and any related disputes, does not apply in the case you have described. The reason is simple. This law only governs the private sector, so there is really nothing that be done within the legislation.

That is not the end of the road, though. The labour officer advises your family member to speak to senior management within the applicable ministry.

Alternatively (or in addition), each department is supposed to have its own complaints procedure; he should be able to find out about the process on its individual website or he can call the department directly to ask who handles complaints.

He can also get that information from the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC), and if the department’s internal complaints procedure brings no joy, he can approach the OCC to file a grievance. A previous column on this issue should prove helpful (See Making a complaint against government department).

Let’s hope you can get satisfaction within the ministry. It just might be that approaching the correct contact person will result in logic and fair play prevailing (I am assuming for the purposes of answering your question that your relative is in the right and the money is indeed owed to him) and the remaining salary handed over.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library.


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