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ASK HR: Will I get my salary arrears if I quit my job?

Thursday July 5 2018

Sometimes I get paid half and other months nothing.

Sometimes I get paid half and other months nothing. PHOTO | FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

FRED GITUKU
By FRED GITUKU
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It has been six months since I got a full salary. Sometimes I get paid half and other months nothing. My boss says I should understand that the company is going through a hard financial period, but that has not stopped my expenses. I am now even unable to go to work, yet he expects me to be in the office every day. If I quit this job, do you think he will pay my arrears?

Organisations at times experience periods of difficulty that may adversely affect their ability to meet financial obligations, not the least of which is the payment of salaries.

Responses to such situations differ; some organisations scale down and let part of their staff go while others bet on their resolve and recovery efforts hoping that external operating circumstances join in to turn fortunes.

When, as in your case, life’s expenses are mounting, there is indeed a limit to how long an individual can hold their financial breath.

Based on what you are aware of, is the organisation truly experiencing dire financial constraints?

Are all employees in your shoes, including your boss? What is your assessment of the chances and probable timelines of the organisation making a complete recovery?

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Are employees, despite the rough patch, upbeat about tomorrow? Do they feel that the right steps are being taken to get through this difficult period?

Are the organisation’s financial difficulties gradually waning?

Are you one among those who are inspiring hope and actively contributing towards organisational recovery or a founder member of the doomsters’ party?

If you choose to hang on, work with diligence as your employer is likely to look kindly upon employees who demonstrate commitment and loyalty through hard times.

If you have valid reasons to believe that chances of the organisation’s recovery are indeed slim and that the future is bleak, start looking for another job, aware that your career is not merely about your current role and the presence or absence of a salary.

If you choose to move on, do so with dignity; the world is a small place.

Whether your employer eventually pays your salary arrears or not may depend less on his capacity to do so and more on his character which you probably already have had chance to judge.

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