Global employment briefing: Saudi Arabia, June 2017

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Employment law


Changing employment regulation in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Labour law Executive Regulations were recently issued by the Ministry of Labour after a substantial number of amendments were made to Saudi Labour law in 2016. The Executive Regulations contains six appendices and replaces the Executive Regulations issued by the Ministerial Decision no. (693/1) (the “Decision”), superseding and prevailing over any conflicting decisions.

The first appendix requires each employer to prepare an internal work regulation (the “Regulations”) for its organization and contains comprehensive rules for the organization of work according to the template issued by the Ministry. The employer is at liberty to include more terms and conditions in the Regulations, provided that the same are not at variance with the Saudi Labour law or regulations or decisions issued pursuant to it.

The employer is required to post the Regulation at an obvious location in the workplace for employees’ benefit. The Regulations include the following; conditions in the employment contract, transport, training and qualification of employees, bonuses, leave and promotions. It also contains a list of violations and penalties in a table. For instance, the table sets out misconduct related to punctuality and the applicable penalty. Some of the penalties are limited to a written warning for the first violation, while other penalties could entail a wage deduction. The table deals with other workplace misconduct, for example; using work-related tools and equipment for personal purpose without permission, sleeping on the job, manipulating personnel records (attendance and dismissal etc.), fighting with colleagues, alleging sickness or lying about being injured because of work etc.

The appendices deal with other matters including workers with disabilities, workplace mediation, regulations for engaging, arranging and providing manpower services in KSA and the model terms for a labour contract that contain mandatory and optional terms to regulate the relation between the employer and the employee.

If you have employees working in Saudi Arabia, we recommend that you speak to your HR department on an urgent basis to revisit internal HR policies to ensure that they comply.

For further information on complying with the Saudi Labour law in its entirety and avoiding any potential Ministry of Labour investigations or proceedings, please contact

Muhammad Anum Saleem
+96 61 14 84 44 48

Faisal Al Zamil

Riyadh office