Leaving Hong Kong, employer won't give back withheld salary

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    8

    Leaving Hong Kong, employer won't give back withheld salary

    Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me.
    I have a 12 month contract with my job. This was due to finish on August 17th. However, due to a family member's health rapidly declining, I am having to leave on Sunday if I want any chance of seeing her again.
    I have been told that this is a breach of contract, and therefore my employer will not be paying the first month salary they retained when I started. I was told this is for tax purposes.
    HOWEVER
    I have paid my tax, I have a clearance letter, which they have received. Is there anything I can do in the short time I have left here to recoup this money? It seems the letter I got from the IRS orders them to pay it to me, can I force their hand?
    Thanks!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    225

    Note: This is not legal advice

    They aren't supposed to withhold your first month's salary, but they could say that it is "payment in lieu of notice" - It all depends on what your contract says.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by LemonySmithit
    Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me.
    I have a 12 month contract with my job. This was due to finish on August 17th. However, due to a family member's health rapidly declining, I am having to leave on Sunday if I want any chance of seeing her again.
    I have been told that this is a breach of contract, and therefore my employer will not be paying the first month salary they retained when I started. I was told this is for tax purposes.
    HOWEVER
    I have paid my tax, I have a clearance letter, which they have received. Is there anything I can do in the short time I have left here to recoup this money? It seems the letter I got from the IRS orders them to pay it to me, can I force their hand?
    Thanks!
    Whats the notice period for resignation mentioned on the contract? If its 1 month and you dont give the required notice time, they will withhold 1 month salary as payment in lieu of notice.

    Normally company withold last months salary towards tax payment. Once you got clearence they will issue the last month salary.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    8

    They can take my last payment in leui of notice, that's fine, but I do have tax clearance now. So the letter from the tax office says I am owed it back.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,078

    Did they pay your the last month salary? You got tax cleared. How about the notice period as per contractual obligations?

    Legally they cant withhold 1st month salary. You are required to be paid within 7 days of 1st month. If not you can surely contest it at labour dept. Its better you goto labour dept with all your proof and consult them on what actions can be taken!


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    8

    I haven't been paid my last month's salary, as the month isn't up yet. I don't think for a second I'll get it. But they took my first month, for tax reasons, as stated on my final tax form. I have paid my tax, and given them the letter confirming this, so surely I'm due that first month back?


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,078
    Quote Originally Posted by LemonySmithit
    I haven't been paid my last month's salary, as the month isn't up yet. I don't think for a second I'll get it. But they took my first month, for tax reasons, as stated on my final tax form. I have paid my tax, and given them the letter confirming this, so surely I'm due that first month back?
    You should be paid the first month and last months pro rata salary.

    You should pay back charges in lieu of notice, back pay any holiday pay etc...

    Did they mention anywhere about withholding 1st month pay? Do you get payment advice/slip when your salary credited every month?

    Goto the labour department in person.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    3,686

    So are you moving back home or going to see a relative for a short period?

    Also we don't know your notice period.

    You can't force anyone to do anything. If you're leaving hk for good then you might have problems getting the money. However try to collect proof of your situation and you can urge an investigation and do this while outside of Hk. For claiming your salary you need to go to court in person.

    Also we still don't know what your contract says. Any penalties or payment owed for quitting?