Saudi Arabia

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Saudi Arabia. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

According to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Labor Law, indefinite term contracts may be terminated by either party by providing at least 60 days' written notice to the other party if the employee is paid monthly. If the employee is paid at a different frequency, at least 30 days' notice must be provided. Payment in lieu of notice is permitted if both parties agree to it. 

Work Permits

Foreign nationals who wish to work in Saudi Arabia must obtain work visas sponsored by their employers. This visa is issued with a validity of three months, and employees must apply for a residence permit after coming to Saudi Arabia.

To obtain a work visa, the employer must prove that no Saudi citizens were available to fill the position. Employers must apply for a work visa to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development. After receiving authorization from the Ministry, a work visa is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Documents to be submitted include the employment contract, proof of qualifications, medical certificate, Letter of sponsoring from the employer, Zakat Certificate, Company Registration, etc.

In March 2021, the existing Saudi immigration regulations were amended as part of the Kingdom's Labor Reform Initiative. The reforms affect foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and aim to ease the strict "kafala" employer sponsorship system. The reforms allow foreign workers to change jobs by transferring their sponsorship from one employer to another and re-enter and exit the country without the consent of their employer.

Paid Annual Leave

A female worker is entitled to a minimum of ten weeks' paid maternity leave, divided into four weeks before the expected date of delivery and then six weeks following the child's birth.

Employees who have worked for at least one year with the employer are entitled to 50% of wages during maternity leave, and those who have worked for at least three years with the same employer are entitled to 100% of wages. Employees are not eligible for annual leave in the year they avail themselves of maternity leave.

Employers are prohibited from dismissing or suspending an employee while she's on maternity leave or in the period of 180 days before her maternity leave begins.

*In view of COVID-19, the government has granted compulsory paid leave of two weeks to all pregnant employees.

Working Hours

The maximum number of working hours is generally eight hours per day or 48 hours per week, except for the holy month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, working hours for Muslim employees may not exceed six hours per day or 36 hours per week. Under exceptional circumstances, employees may be asked to work beyond normal hours, limited to ten hours per day or 60 hours per week. Employees cannot be allowed to work for more than five hours continuously.

*According to a new regulation, in view of COVID-19, employers are allowed to reduce employees' salaries with a corresponding reduction in working hours. This reduction cannot exceed 40% of the normal salary. After these regulations cease to be in effect, employees must increase the salary to normal levels. If employers are not able to pay even the reduced salary, they can dismiss employees. These regulations do not apply to companies that benefit from government subsidies. 

Maternity Leave

A female worker is entitled to a minimum of ten weeks' paid maternity leave, divided into four weeks before the expected date of delivery and then six weeks following the child's birth.

Employees who have worked for at least one year with the employer are entitled to 50% of wages during maternity leave, and those who have worked for at least three years with the same employer are entitled to 100% of wages. Employees are not eligible for annual leave in the year they avail themselves of maternity leave.

Employers are prohibited from dismissing or suspending an employee while she's on maternity leave or in the period of 180 days before her maternity leave begins.

*In view of COVID-19, the government has granted compulsory paid leave of two weeks to all pregnant employees.

Minimum Wage

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a government-mandated minimum wage for all employees.

The current monthly minimum wage for public-sector employees is SAR 4,000 (Saudi riyals). There is no private-sector minimum wage for foreign workers. The government's Nitaqaat (Saudization) program set a general minimum private-sector wage for citizens at SAR 4,000 per month. Part-time employees are also eligible for minimum wage.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Saudi Arabia.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Saudi Arabia.