Saudi Labor Law | Saudi Arabia Labor Law 2015 | Labor Law Saudi Arabia

LABOR LAW CHANGED/EASED IN SAUDI ARABIA: A total of 38 amendments have been approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2015. The ...

LABOR LAW CHANGED/EASED IN SAUDI ARABIA:

Saudi Labor Law, Saudi Arabia Labor Law 2015, Labor Law Saudi Arabia
A total of 38 amendments have been approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2015.
The effective date of these changes is October 2015. The salient features pertain to following amendments:

1. Training of Saudi employees:

Under Nitaqat Program, from 6%, now it has been increased to 12% with training them and inducting them in manpower; Article: “Nitaqat Categories”.

2. Probation:

The Probationary Period, earlier 90 days, can now be extended for another 90 days, with agreement of both parties: Employer and the Employee. However, the total period cannot be over 180 days, once during the employment of an employee, unless the job changed and/or the worker left an organization and came back to the same company. Articles: (53) & (54).

3. Muqeem Card Replacing Iqama:

Starting 1437, a resident card called Muqeem Card shall replace the current residence permit “Iqama”. Renewable annually, it will be valid for five (5) years. MC’s will be mailed to individuals through Saudi Postal Service System. There will be no need for visiting any of the Passport Office/s for obtaining it. This card will contain full particulars of the holder, verifiable through electronic system. “Muqeem Card for New Expatriates

4. Fixed Contracts for Saudi Nationals:

Earlier, as per the Arabic Article (55) under Saudi Labor Law if a Saudi National’s contract had been extended for three (3 )years (renewed for 2 times), it would get the status of an unlimited employment contract. Under the amended law, now this has to be extended for four (4) years – successfully renewed for consecutive (3) times.

5. Absence from work:

If an employee is found absent from work without a valid reason for more than 20 days in total, and/or 10 days consecutively, a disciplinary action would be enacted. Now this period has been increased to 30 days of absence in total or 15 days consecutively to bring the worker subject to termination without any salary. See “What is Haroob”. The Saudi Government has recently eased the Huroob (absent from work) rules. The worker can now leave out of the Kingdom without jail or penalty. An employer/sponsor can apply this status on an employee’s Residence Card, finding him/her absent from work without prior intimation. This is, however, removable once the concerned employee returned to work with the same sponsor. A “Huroob” status makes the worker “illegal”.

6. Notice of termination:

The notice period has been extended relating to unlimited employment contract, from 30 days to 60 for employees on a monthly payroll. For employees on hourly wage system, this period has been changed from 15 days to 30 days. Article (75) “38 new amendments of Saudi Labor Law”.

7. Leaves:

Through Article (113) in New Saudi Labor Law 2015, the following changes have been affected:
  • Marriage & Bereavement leaves increased from (3) to five (5) days.
  • Paternity leave from 1 day to (3) days.
  • Muslim women will get four (4) months and 10 days, in case of husband’s death or divorce from him. Non-Muslim women will be entitled to fifteen (15) days with full pay, Article (160).

8. Maternity leave:

10 weeks maternity leave will be granted with full pay, starting on 4th week before delivery date. This can be extended with another 1-month leave without pay. 
Vacations & Leaves in Saudi Labor Law”.

9. Transfer of sponsorship:

A written permission is needed from worker prior to transferring him/her from one work place to another. In emergency situations, an employee can relocated from one place to another but not exceeding more than total 30days.
Sponsorship Transfer in KSA”.

10. Provision of employment certificate:

Under Article (64) of the New Saudi Labor Law, an employer must provide a certificate of employment at the end of the contract. Such certificate/s should not contain contents harmful to reputation of the employee.

11. Daily work hours:

An employee must not stay at work for more than 12 hours in a day. There must be a break of at least half (½) hour for prayer or lunch, after every five (5) hours of continuous work period. For Reference: “Working hours as per Labor Law”.

12. Injuries at work:

Article (137) reads: a worker getting injured during official duty is entitled to full pay of 2 (two) months with compensation amount. Earlier, 1 monthly only. After that another 75% pay granted till the treatment, which can be up to (1) one years. After this he/she can be classified as “disabled” or “eligible for work” with compensation.

13. Wages:

As per Article (90.2), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has implemented a Wage Protection System. The companies are required to deposit salaries into a bank account of each employee. Currently at stage-8, it is applicable to firms/companies with a total number of 130 or more employees. Initially, it started with bigger companies with 3000 or more employees.

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