Saudi Labor Law: All You Need to Know

When you decide to migrate and work in a new country, it is important that you take into account the laws that apply there. Generally, people think that the regulations are the same as those of their country of origin and that everything related to the legislative sector is globalized. The truth is that no, they may look similar, but they will not be the same. Therefore, if you decide to move to Saudi Arabia, we recommend you read this article about Saudi labor law.

In this article, you will see all the information you need about Saudi labor law. The first thing will be that you see everything related to the procedure to obtain an employment visa. The second thing will be that you understand the KSA labor law, specifically, the conditions of employment. In addition, we will show you information about when you want to end a job. Specifically, we will discuss.

  1. How can you get an employment visa?
  2. What are the terms and conditions of work that must be followed according to the labor laws in Saudi Arabia?
  3. What the Saudi Labor law says about terminating a job?
  4. How can you file a labor complaint in Saudi Arabia?
  5. What are the changes in the labor law in KSA due to COVID-19?
  6. Contact EOR Middle East if you want to have more information about the legislation in Saudi Arabia

1. How can you get an employment visa?

To obtain a work visa, it is important that you take into account all the requirements and steps necessary for this. Given that this is an important process, below you can see everything that is necessary to get the work visa:

1.1 What requirements are necessary to obtain a work visa

The main thing to obtain a work visa is that the person has a sponsor in Saudi Arabia. The person who is your sponsoring employer will be responsible for most of the application process. However, the employee must deliver all essential documents. The following documents will be needed on behalf of the worker to obtain their work visa:

  • You must have a passport it is valid for the entire duration of employment.
  • You must have a passport-size photograph and that it be in color.
  • Proof of online payment of the visa fee. All this through the Enjazat website.
  • You must have the completed visa application.
  • You must have three copies of a medical report and have it signed.
  • An employment letter from the sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia. This letter must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chamber of Commerce of Saudi Arabia.
  • You must have a copy of the signed employment contract.
  • You must have a certified copy of your college diploma. This must be validated by the cultural mission of Saudi Arabia.
  • A police report of any criminal record you may have.
  • You must have a prepaid addressed envelope.

1.2 What steps must you follow for the application process?

The work visa application process must be initiated by the employer. This sponsoring employer must be registered with the Saudi Arabian ministry of interior. Then, the ministry will open an immigration file, which will be made up of the information of all foreign workers of the employer.

The employer will be responsible for submitting a work visa application to the Ministry of Labor of Saudi Arabia. Once this request is approved, the Ministry of Labor must notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two weeks later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue a visa authorization number.

Here the employer must send his application for the work visa to the embassy of Saudi Arabia that corresponds. Along with this, you must send the documents mentioned in the previous section. About three weeks later the embassy will issue the visa, after which the employee will be able to travel to Saudi Arabia. Once in the country, you must apply for a residence permit or Iqama through the Ministry of Labor.

The ministry will send the approved application to the ministry of the interior, where the Iqama will be issued. Employees have to wear the Iqama at all times to prove that they can legally live and work in Saudi Arabia. If the employee wishes to travel in and out of Saudi Arabia during the duration of his work, he must apply for a permit from the Ministry of the Interior.

2. What are the terms and conditions of work that must be followed according to the labor laws in Saudi Arabia?

2.1 What are the main sources of Saudi labor law?

The labor law of Saudi Arabia has two main sources of labor law. The first is the labor law and all the modifications that have been made to it; following the royal decrees. The second is the Regulation of the Execution of the labor law. This is created by the ministerial resolution of the Secretariat of Human Resources and Development. Previously, it was better known as the Saudi Ministry of Labor Law.

2.2 Which workers are protected by Saudi Arabia labor law?

All employees who work within this country are covered by labor legislation. However, there are certain exceptions. Next, you will see all those exceptions that are taken into account in Saudi labor law.

  • Public sector employees who belong to the military and judicial divisions of the government.
  • People who work personally for other individuals. For instance, servants in family homes, family drivers, private gardeners, and others.
  • Workers who are dedicated to voluntary work, that is, who do not receive any economic remuneration for their services.
  • Coaches and players belonging to clubs and sports federations
  • Workers who work at sea, with a ship or ship, and transport a load of fewer than 500 tons.
  • Non-Saudi people who are in the country to perform a specific service for a period not exceeding 60 days.
  • People who work for a family business and the only employees are relatives of the owner.

3. What the Saudi Labor law says about terminating a job?

Generally, when people want to retire from a job they are afraid that they are breaking the law. This phenomenon is seen especially when the employee is a foreigner. As a consequence, in this section, you will see everything that Saudi labor law contemplates regarding the completion of a job.

3.1 Is it mandatory to give notice to the employee?

The first thing you should do is keep in mind that there are two types of contracts in KSA, the limited and the unlimited contract. For fixed-term agreements, you must have included in your writing when notice must be given. However, if you do not establish it, it will expire on the agreed date and the employee must be aware of this.

On the other hand, if it is a contract of unlimited duration, article 75 of the labor law in Saudi Arabia must be followed. That is, whether it is the employee or employer who wants to terminate the employment relationship; you must give a minimum notice of two months if you have a monthly salary. If, on the contrary, the salary is not monthly, you must have a notice of at least 1 month or before.

3.2 When treating an employee as fired?

Article 74 of the labor law of Saudi Arabia, establishes all the cases that make an employee considered dismissed. These circumstances are mentioned below.

  • When the contract is terminated by agreement of both parties. In addition, there must be written evidence of the employee’s consent.
  • If the limited contract reaches its expiration date and no renewal has been offered.
  • When the employee reaches the age at which retirement is granted and decides to take it. However, if you decide to continue your employment and the employer allows it, that is fine.
  • If the company closes permanently.
  • When the activities carried out by the employee are no longer necessary in the company.

3.3 When can employees be granted special protection in case of dismissal?

Article 77 of the labor law KSA specifies the conditions under which an employee must receive compensation. Essentially, it is when a contract is terminated and does not contemplate compensation for your services. Depending on the employee’s situation, compensation may vary.

For instance, if the unlimited contract must be granted to the worker his salary of 2 weeks for each year of service provided. But, if, on the contrary, the agreement was limited, the salary for the rest of the period must be paid.

4. How can you file a labor complaint in Saudi Arabia?

4.1 When can an employee file a complaint if they are fired?

All employees were dismissed and are not granted the compensation indicated in article 77. For this case to proceed, you must have valid evidence of your dismissal at your disposal. This takes into account the considerations of article 80.

4.2 Where can employees file labor complaints?

The first entity you should go to is the Labor court, which has the function of issuing the first sentences. If you are not satisfied with this decision and want to appeal, you must go to an appeals court.

4.3 What is the process to follow if you want to file a labor complaint?

The first thing is that you go to the labor court and present your complaint. This will hold a conciliation meeting that both parties must attend. If unsuccessful, a trial proceeds where the labor court is in charge of studying everything that happened in detail and making a decision.

5. What are the changes in the labor law in KSA due to COVID-19?

COVID-19 changed the lifestyle around the world and in the workplace, it was no exception. Due to the importance that these changes represent in Saudi labor law, it is important that you know about them. In this way, you can see them all below:

5.1 Can employers require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the workplace?

Currently, employers do not need to ask employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This is because the HRSD is in charge of forcing employees to get vaccinated for any type of work they are going to do.

5.2 Can employers require employees to be tested for COVID-19 or impose other types of requirements to enter the workplace?

In this case, the employer must always take all necessary precautions if he suspects a contagious disease. This is done to protect the public health of all employees.

5.3 Employers must change the terms and conditions of employment and adopt a working model where employees work between their homes and the workplace.

At the moment this practice is not required, therefore it should not be taken into account when finding a job.

5.4 Do employees have the right to work from home if possible even once workplaces reopen?

This is possible, but it should be noted that this will be determined by your employer. Therefore, you must take into account that this is not a mandatory measure and it will be the company that will determine if it is necessary for you to go to the workplace.

6. Contact EOR Middle East if you want to have more information about the legislation in Saudi Arabia

As you can see, many issues about the labor law in Saudi Arabia that is important for you to know. This is because this way you can prevent unwanted situations from occurring in the work environment. However, it is important that you know that when uncomfortable circumstances occur and you want to take legal action, ask for advice. To do this, contact EOR Middle East and we will help you solve any type of problem.

With us, you can expand to:

In our company, we have specialized advisors on many topics, including the law in Saudi Arabia. We have people who are highly trained in these issues and are also willing to assist you in the best way. If you wish to contact us you can call us at +971 43 316 688; or write to us if you prefer at [email protected].

If you are interested in getting a job in Saudi Arabia, do not hesitate to visit On this website, you will find many jobs offers so that you can fulfill your dream of working in this nation. If you wish, you can send us your CV via email at [email protected].

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