Can my employer deduct my salary if I sign a backdated contract with lower salary?

Question by Visitor: I am a gynecologist. I was selected by MOH delegation from Pakistan as a specialist in gynecologist on basis of my MCPS diploma and 9 years’ experience. I joined Tabuk on 1-5-1434. My written contract was for one year. Here I was told to give exam of Saudi Commission of Health Sciences. However, my pay was started immediately. I gave and cleared the exam and kept on waiting to get my license from Saudi Commission of Health sciences. In the meantime, my initial contract of one year finished on 1-5-1435. I asked for a renewal of contract but I was told to attach said license with new contract papers. However I continued my job, my colleagues said you can continue for another year also without written contract. Hospital and also MOH did not ask anything and I continued getting salary as before. Now one week before I have received my license as a resident which is one step low. I brought this thing to the notice of all concerned to keep things clear. Hospital has said that now my contract will be signed as a resident according to license. My colleagues have advised me not to sign as a resident as it will grossly reduce salary. They have also told me that I can complete this year also on basis of old contract. However few colleagues have said that hospital may object and deduct my salary difference between specialist and resident I have already received after first-year initial contract. 7 months have passed over my one year contract. MY QUESTION IS: Can Hospital deduct my paid salary? Can I complete this year also as a specialist? Can I resign and go? If I sign a new contract as a resident will it be effective from the date of signing or with effect from the start of the second year?

Answer by Steve: I think there are some technical terms like a contract as specialist and contract as a resident which I do not understand as it will be related to the internal policy of the Hospital. As far as your question is concerned, you are working on an indefinite contract in the hospital. You can read here the rights of an employee working on indefinite contract. You can continue working on this contract until your employer does not ask you to change the contract. It is not illegal at all. They cannot deduct any salary from your contract unless you have agreed to it in writing. If you sign the new contract, it will be effective from the date when you have signed it. After signing the new contract, it will become fixed term contract. I hope I have answered your questions.

Question by Visitor: Dear Sir, as I wrote before my Initial written contract finished on 1-5-1435. Now today I have been told verbally to renew the contract in written w.e.f 1-5-1435 (i.e 7 months Back Dated) and also one step down (which carries almost half salary). Of course, I don’t agree to sign backdated contract and that too with half salary than I am taking. Now my question is: If I don’t agree to sign this contract (backdated with less salary) can they create problems in my final exit visa? As one person in personnel department has told me that MY work status is not in THEIR SYSTEM, SO THEY CAN NOT PROCESS ANY CASE OF MINE such as visa, vacation etc. However, my salary for this month (1/1436) and next month (2/1436) is being displayed in the system. Hope you got my question. Please reply especially keeping Ministry Of Health rules for doctors under consideration.

Answer by Steve: As far as you are an employee of MOH, I hope they will not violate Saudi Labor Law. As per law, you can resign if at this time if you do not want to renew your contract and they cannot create any problem for you. Other points which you have mentioned are internal to your system about which I do not know.

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Question by Visitor: Sir, I have given my resignation in writing to hospital director with wordings” due to personal problems I want to be relieved from my duty immediately and final exit visa be issued”. Now my Question is: what is my standing now? Till when I will get a salary? Verbally they have told me to continue work in existing status, which I presume status of the contract which I have signed about two years back but was for one year, since then I am working without written contract? Can I refuse work? PLEASE ADVICE

Answer by Steve: As far as they are giving you your current salary you are satisfied with the job right? You should continue working with them as long as you are receiving your salary. As I have told you, you have a right to resign at any time with one month notice period unless you sign another contract. I think you should continue working unless they ask you forcefully to sign another contract. At that time you can resign again. One more thing, you should give proper notice period in your resignation. Otherwise, that resignation may not be accepted by law. Read into this link, “Notice Period under Saudi Labor Law

Question by Visitor: Dear Sir, Thanks for replying. Now, after I gave written resignation (due to their pressure to sign backdated contract in low category/less pay) orders came from Directorate General Health 4 days back “due to non-renewal of contract doctor should be stopped from working as soon as possible” and hospital issued order stopping me from working with effect from same day. Now I have been stopped from work, and the hospital is still pressuring me to sign backdated contract. My question is: How long can they keep me here STOPPED from work (I presume now without salary). Can they demand money difference of money of salary I received and salary they want me to sign? WHAT is legal position? Hope you understand my position. Kindly reply WARM REGARDS

Answer by Steve:  You should pressurize them for the final exit visa. Tell them if they do not want to keep you, they should proceed to final exit ASAP. They do not have any right to take back your salary unless you sign that backdated contract. If they do not proceed with your final exit (I do not think they will create any problem) you can go to labor office against them. But it is better to just pressurize them to process your final exit.

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