Working Conditions in Saudi Arabia

1. Minimum working conditions

There are no set working conditions in the KSA. However, employers are required to provide offices and restroom facilities for females that are separated from those of their male counterparts, in order for female employees to work in a segregated environment.

2. Salary

A minimum wage of SAR 3,000 a month applies in KSA but only to KSA-nationals and for the purposes of meeting the quotas under Nitiqat. An employer can therefore still elect to pay an employee less than the minimum wage.

3. Maximum working week

Maximum working hours (except for senior employees or managers, who are exempt from the relevant provisions) are 8 hours per day or 48 hours per six-day week. However, the Government has recently announced plans to implement a two day weekend for the private sector, which would see the working week reduced to 40 hours. When this will come into force and how it will be implemented is not yet clear. The KSA Labour Law stipulates that an employee’s total working hours (including overtime) should not normally exceed ten hours per day or 60 hours per week under any circumstances. Furthermore, workers should not work for more than five consecutive hours without a break of at least thirty minutes in any working day and should not remain at the workplace for more than twelve hours a day in total (of which one hour must be for rest, food and prayer). However, the new implementing regulations for the amended KSA Labour Law stipulate a yearly maximum of overtime of 720 hours and state that an employee can consent to work in excess of this limit.

Certain sectors are permitted to operate a 9 hour day and some are required to operate a 7 hour day (if necessary for health and safety reasons), but overtime hours are restricted to a maximum of 720 hours per annum.

Friday is the official day of rest with Thursday generally being the other weekend day in KSA. Working hours are reduced to 6 hours a day or 36 hours per week.

4. Overtime

Total working hours should not exceed ten hours per day or 60 hours per week. Work in excess of the statutory working week is compensated at 100% of hourly wages plus 50% of basic wages. Overtime in a year should normally be no more than 720 hours.

5. Holiday

The minimum entitlement to paid annual leave is 21 calendar days a year, rising to 30 calendar days a year after 5 years’ service.

6. Employer’s obligation to provide a healthy and safe workplace

Employers are under a general duty to safeguard the health and safety of employees at work.

For more information, please contact L&E Global.
This information was contributed by Abdulaziz A. Al-Bosaily Law Office in association with Clyde & Co.
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