Friday, 26 December 2014

Restricting to work for Competitors – Clause in the Saudi Contract

I have a clause in my contract that I cannot work for any competitor of my company for 2 years after I leave the company. What course of Action Company can adopt if I work for competitor?

Question by Visitor
My contract with my employer reads that I should not join any of our competitors for the 2 years at the end of the contract. It was signed about 7 years ago without knowing what it was about. Now I would like to join another company who is a competitor to the present one. Can I go on exit and come back on the new company's visa. Will the present company trouble me by applying for a ban on my entry? Is it illegal to take up a new job in a competitor's company? The new company is encouraging me to join with them saying that there is no ban. Please advise me.

Answer by Steve
Since you have signed a contract with them, now it is illegal to join their competitor. They will not release you to their competitor. They cannot set ban upon you since you have not done anything wrong till now. But if you come back to the new company and they get to know about it, they can challenge you in the courts of Saudi Arabia, complain against you to MOI. After that, you will have to face the litigation which is tiring, expensive and time consuming activity. Court will obviously decide against you and you will be black listed from Saudi Arabia and deported with immediate affect

Comment by the Visitor
Thanks for your reply. I just remember that I was brought to KSA on a visa from a different company then transferred to the present company. This company bought the visa for me from a different company and transferred after a year. This means that the company originally offered me a visa must have offered the release for me to the present company. In this case, am I eligible for a transfer from the present company though I have signed a contract with a clause not to join a competitor at the end of contract? Also I have a contract signed by me without this non-competition clause and I am holding the original with me signed by the competent authority of the present company. That means they have forced me or without my knowledge they have made me to sign the contract with this non-competition clause. In this case can I go on exit and take up a new job from a competition. |Would the present company be able to file a case against me once I come back on a different company's visa. I am sorry that I am troubling you too much. I have no other go but to come back as I am offered a highest position and a salary of double than what I am getting here. So need to make sure that I will not get into a trouble legally.

Answer by Steve
My answer is same; legally you cannot come back to the competitor. If your current Kafeel gets to know about it, you will be under heavy penalty. If you have signed even one contract with them in your ignorance, they can challenge you in the court. However, if you can make such arrangement that they do not get to know about joining another company, you may be saved. But again, if they get to know about it and they file a suit against you, your career will be ruined since you will be banned to visit Saudi Arabia. It does not have any impact that your current Kafeel was not initial visa issuer. Fact is that your current Kafeel has signed an agreement with you restricting you to work for another competitor.

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  3. Legality of Arabic / English Employment Contract
  4. Completion of Contract under Saudi Labor Law


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