Aren’t legal contracts just the worst? Always filled with terms and clauses and even one vaguely written line can end up making you pay heavily for not reading between the lines. However one of our regular readers has found himself in one of the most confusing legal situations in Saudi Arabia.The reader says that he is a Filipino expat who has been working in Riyadh since 2012. He states that after a year of working, his wife also joined him in the Kingdom through an employment she got at a hotel. The problem was that the company profile had her under single and not married. The reader adds that as soon as his wife arrived they immediately handed over all their official documents which included an attested marriage certificate by the Saudi embassy in Philippines and an Arabic translation of the text, to the hotels HR office.
They hoped that this would change her marital status as married. However the office refused to have her civil status updated even though they have complete proof of the marriage. The reader had been trying every possible method to solve this situation, when his wife got pregnant with their first child. The reader again approached the HR office in a desperate attempt to ask them to update her status due to the latest development; however they refused to accommodate them, again. The reader has done some research on the topic and has found proof that the company is obligated to do so by law. The reader now plans to send a formal email to the HR office so that he can get documented evidence of their refusal to co-operate, as their first response was verbal.
Another reader had replied to his query by saying that the company has every right of not updating her status as the initial contract was for a single woman. However the responder claims that a deal could be made with the HR office in which the insurance coverage could be raised and the difference could be paid for by the Filipino couple.If the only issue with this case is the medical coverage then I would definitely have to go with the responder’s idea of making a deal with the HR office. However if the company still refuses to co-operate, I recommend legal action be taken before the pregnancy reaches the second or third trimester. There is a downside to this, as legal action can be grounds for termination for the wife’s contract and if the man does not earn enough to have his wife along with him, she would have to go back and start job hunting as a “married” woman all over again.
I think it is better to be smart in this situation then to be persistent over what is right and what is wrong. If you are getting what you need then it is not such a bad idea to meet them halfway. This is beneficial to both the company, as they avoid a court case and the new parents-to-be.
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