Labor and Employment

This section contains information about the Saudi government's efforts to provide employment opportunities for men and women in the public and private sectors with the development of human resources and social development, as well as government assistance to establishments, individuals, and productive families. You will also find information about Saudi Arabia labor and social welfare laws and regulations, occupational wellbeing and protection in the workplace, training programs, women's empowerment, self-employment, and support for retirees and job seekers.

Labor and Social Welfare Laws

Saudi Arabia sets up work opportunities for everyone who can work and enacts regulations that protect both the worker and the employer - Article 28 of the Basic Law of Governance

To review more laws and regulations, click here.

Human Resources and Social Development Strategy

Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) gets unlimited support by the leadership due to its extended scope of supervision, areas of work and its significant role in achieving targets of the national transformation and objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030. Today, MHRSD has a number of strategic objectives that aim to raise the efficiency, effectiveness and attractiveness of the Saudi labor market, enhance safety and social protection net, increase non-profit sector's contribution to the national economy, achieve sustainable social development, raise the level of public sector's productivity, develop its systems and increase their flexibility to enhance its role in supporting GDP.
Labor Market Strategy click here.
Social Development Strategy click here.

Employment in the Government Sector

Saudi Arabia is making every effort to strengthen the government sector in order to become one of the best countries for effective government performance, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives and its ambitious starting points in developing human capital and investing in it for the renaissance of its citizens and charting their careers. Saudi Arabia has several government departments, each of which has multiple government positions. As a result, the leadership strives to fill numerous positions in various ministries and government agencies.

In addition, its endeavors to promote the principle of investing in human capital by developing the skills of public employees by training them and obtaining appropriate qualifications. Saudi Arabia's public sector has enacted several initiatives to support, facilitate, and employ Saudi citizens to help fulfill both job market needs and the strategic goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.

Employment in The Private Sector 

  • The National Labor Gateway (Taqat): An online platform for the labor market in Saudi Arabia that brings together job seekers and employers. It allows the application, exchange of employment, and training services to be efficient and effective for the workforce's stability.
  • Employment Support Initiative: The program aims to support private and nonprofit job seekers. Fund to pay a proportion of the employee's wages. includes all jobs in the private and non-profit sectors for full-time roles.
  • Temporary work - direct contracting: a program that facilitates access to the workforce by enabling individuals wishing to work for establishments to register on the AJEER program. It publishes the CVs of labor in the market for direct contracting. At the same time, establishments can benefit from job seekers by contracting based on specific requirements and submitting offers.
  • MARIN: it is a program that enables the Saudi job seeker and the employer to contract flexibly, and the wage for it is on an hourly basis (the lowest wage unit), without committing to any other benefits, such as paid vacations, end-of-service bonuses, and no trial period is required.
  • On-the-job training: it is a program for Saudi graduates from local and foreign universities to train them in government institutions and distinguished companies in the private sector.
  • Parallel Saudization: It helps establishments urgently improve Saudization rates until the facility finds the necessary Saudi workers.
  • QIWA Platform: It was launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development for sustaining the empowerment and Saudization of business.
  • Scopes and instant calculation (NITAQAT): it is one of the HRSD initiatives to raise the rate of Saudization in the private sector. It classifies the private sector according to activities and the percentage rate of Saudization in each classification.

Remote Work

The technology revolution played a role in fostering new cultures in the local labor market, as it is possible today to find job opportunities that overcome physical obstacles and connect employers with employees through a virtual workplace. To create a local and flexible work environment that keeps pace with the developments in the global labor market, the HRSD supported the national initiative Telework program. The program is keen on providing the needs of two different yet essential segments in the workforce, who are women and people with disabilities.  These needs will be fulfilled by providing job opportunities that overcome transportation obstacles and other obstacles faced by females such as inconveniences in the workplace and the need to take care of children during work hours.

  • To view the Remote Work Portal User Guide - For Job Seekers, click here
  • To view the Remote Work Portal User Guide - For Establishments and Employers, click here
  • To view the Remote Work Portal User Guide - Service Providers, click here
  • To view the Remote Work Procedural Manual, click here
  • To view the guide for business owners on how to activate the remote work program, click here

Self-Employment

In fulfillment of the Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision, the HRSD launched the Self-Employment Program; To empower national energies and support those looking for additional income opportunities and be self-employed. The program provides a document approved by the ministry for specialists in several activities, and it enables them to find opportunities to work in their field of specialization independently. It gives them several advantages upon their issuance of the self-employment document.
To register on the freelance platform, click here.

Rights and Duties of Workers

Saudi Arabia, workers has rights and duties that have been taken into account by the HRSD as a legislator and regulator of the labor market, and these rights and duties are consistent with human rights in Saudi Arabia, which are represented by Human Rights Commission. The following is an overview of the employee's rights and duties:

Wage

  • Worker's wages shall be paid in the official currency of the country.
  • Worker's wages shall be paid in working hours and workplace.
  • Worker's wages entitlement dates must be adhered to according to the specified and agreed upon dates.
  • Worker's wages must be paid through the approved banks in Saudi Arabia.
  • The percentage of the amounts deducted may not exceed half of the Worker's due wage, unless it is proven to the Labor Disputes Settlement Authority that the deduction is possible to exceed that percentage.
  • The employer shall pay workers an additional wage for overtime equal to the hourly wage plus 50% of their basic wage.

For more details, please refer to Chapter 1 of Article 6 of the Labor Law.  

Working Hours & Breaks

  • Workers may not work for more than eight hours per day or more than forty-eight hours per week, taking into account the reduction of working hours in the month of Ramadan; thus, the working hours shall not exceed six hours per day or thirty-six hours per week.
  • No worker shall work for more than five consecutive hours without a break, period for prayer and food, Thus, the break shall not be less than half an hour at a time during the total working hours, and the workers shall not remain in the workplace for more than twelve hours per day.
  • The worker shall not be under the authority of the Employer during breaks.
  • As for the weekend, Friday shall be the weekend for all workers, and this day can be replaced for some types of work with any day of the week after informing the competent labor office.

For more details, please refer to Chapter 2 of Article 6 of the Labor Law.

Vacations

  • Worker is entitled to an annual leave for each year of no less than twenty-one days and shall be increased to thirty days if worker has served Employer for five consecutive years
  • Leave pay shall be paid in advance
  • Leave may not be waived in return for cash, and worker must enjoy it at the time of its entitlement
  • Employer shall inform worker of the date of their leave thirty days prior to the leave
  • With the approval of the Employer, the leave or part thereof may be postponed to the following year
  • The worker has the right to receive the leave wages that they did not enjoy if they leave the work
  • Worker has the right to leave three days in the event of the birth of a newborn, and five days on his marriage or in the event of the death of his spouse or one of his ascendants and descendants
  • Worker has the right to leave with full pay for the number of actual exam days to perform exams if they are affiliated with an academic institution
  • The worker may take unpaid leave with the approval of the Employer
  • The worker shall have the right to obtain a proven sick leave, and worker is entitled to the full wage of the first thirty days and three quarters of the wage for the next sixty days and without pay for the following thirty days for one year, whether these leaves are continuous or intermittent
  • Female workers shall have the right to maternity leave with full pay for a period of ten weeks, which shall be distributed at her discretion, beginning with a maximum of four weeks before the likely date of confinement. Under no circumstances may a female worker be employed after childbirth during the six weeks following delivery

For more details, please refer to Chapter 4 of Article 6 of the Labor Law.  

End-of-Service Benefits

Labor Law ensures that worker receives end-of-service benefits at the end of the work relationship, as Employer shall pay worker benefits for the period of their service calculated based on a half-month wage for each of the first five years and a month’s wages for each of the following years for calculating the end-of-service benefits. worker shall be entitled to end-of-service benefits for parts of the year in proportion to what they spent at work, and the last wage shall be taken as the basis for calculating the end-of-service benefits. If the working relationship ends due to the worker's resignation, the worker shall be entitled, in this case to one third of the end-of-service benefits after a service of no less than two consecutive years and not more than five years, and worker shall be entitled to two thirds thereof if worker's service period exceeds five consecutive years and has not reached ten years, and worker is entitled to the full end-of-service benefits if worker service period has reached ten years or more.

For more details, please refer to Chapter IV of Article Five of the Labor Law.  

Leave Work without Notice

As per Labor Law, worker shall have the right to leave work without notice, while retaining all their statutory rights, in any of the following cases:
  • If Employer fails to fulfill its essential contractual or statutory obligations towards worker
  • If it is proven that Employer or his representative has deceived worker at the time of the contract, in relation to the terms and conditions of work
  • If Employer assigns worker, without their consent, a work that is fundamentally different from the work agreed upon
  • If Employer, a member of his family, or the responsible manager has committed a violent assault or immoral behavior towards worker or a member of their family
  • If the treatment of Employer or the responsible manager was characterized by manifestations of cruelty, injustice, or humiliation
  • If there is a danger in the workplace that threatens the safety or health of worker, provided that Employer is aware of its existence, and no measures were taken to indicate its removal
  • If Employer or his representative, by his behavior, especially his unfair treatment or violating the terms of the contract, causes worker to terminate the contract.

Duties of Worker

Labor Law defines the most important duties that worker must abide by, which are:
  • Adhere to work-related instructions unless they contain anything that violates the provisions of the employment contract, public order, or morals, or otherwise exposes them to danger
  • Maintain working hours
  • Complete the work as required
  • Take care of the tools at their disposal and maintain the same, in addition to the property of the facility
  • Committing to good conduct and behavior, working in the spirit of cooperation between him and his colleagues, obeying his superiors, and being keen on satisfying the facility's clients within the scope of his competence and the limits of Labor Law
  • Help in emergencies
  • Preserve the technical, industrial, and commercial secrets of the facility
  • Not to engage in any other work outside the scope of their work, whether paid or unpaid
  • Not to exploit their work in the facility to achieve a personal interest for themselves or others at the facility's expense
  • Update their data in the facility whenever something new occurs in their marital status or place of residence
  • Adhere to the country's instructions, regulations, customs and traditions in force
  • Not to use the facility's tools and equipment for private purposes

Professional Code of Ethics

MHRSD has issued The Professional Code of Ethics Guide, to help companies and institutions prepare and formulate principles and rules of professional ethics that help enhance trust between the parties to the labor relationship and create a more attractive work environment that leads to raising professional efficiency and ensuring job security for worker and the proper functioning of the work.

This Guide contains several ethical principles that must be applied by the parties to the labor relationship. Further, this Guide constitutes a reference tool that outlines the basic rules that guide the parties to the labor relationship on how to deal with each other, such as fairness, equality, non-discrimination, public appearance, honesty, loyalty, non-exploitation of position, work environment, public morals, behavior, and the promotion of teamwork. 

Shared Ethics and Principles

  • Transparency: Creating a suitable climate for the success of any facility enables employees to ask questions, reveal the things on their minds, and express their opinions without fear of punishment, which leads to finding better ways of working mechanisms, solving problems, and saving money.
  • Listening: Creating channels of communication between worker and Employer to create a sound work environment that makes the participation of the parties to the labor relationship positive for both parties.
  • Sharing, Teamwork, and Collaboration: Working in a team spirit, leads to the success of the work entrusted to team members, and worker sharing their experiences and knowledge with their other colleagues has a great impact on spreading knowledge and developing their skills, which leads them to make the right decisions, and this leads to upgrading skills and increasing efficiency through long-term learning and training.
  • Disclosure & Reporting: Employer shall facilitate disclosing and reporting any violations or important information, whether positive or negative, while ensuring that worker is not harmed by the same. While adhering to the requirements of their job duties of honoring and respecting their superiors, worker shall, in the interest of the work, report any irregularities they discover, in accordance with the applicable policies.
  • Conflict of interest: Worker shall avoid any actual or potential conflict of interest suspected by them and worker shall not carry out any of the acts that may benefit them personally unless this is directed by Employer. Worker shall not also participate in any process or decision in a way in which he obtains a benefit from the same, and worker shall notify Employer in writing and promptly in the event of any conflict of interest.
  • Public Behavior and Morals: The relationship between workers must be based on morals, mutual respect, and the preservation of the customs and traditions of Saudi society and Islamic teachings. A proper appearance and attention to general hygiene must be maintained. Female worker must adhere to the Islamic hijab throughout the work period.
  • Bribery: Workers must be alerted to the offense of taking bribery and violating the regulations, and to abide by Employer’s policies when completing the work without delay or reluctance, and not to engage in any conversations or understandings with customers that may obtain work illegally or in return for an illegal payment of money.
  • Gifts: Giving and accepting gifts is legitimate, but the nature of the relationship between the workers themselves and between them and the clients necessarily requires restricting this matter within the limits permitted by the employer’s policy or preventing it among the work community. This affects relationships, which may lead to accusations of obtaining personal benefits at the expense of work. It is not permissible to accept gifts or donations from suspicious entities or persons who have a bad reputation, or it is suspected that they are involved in or engaging in acts that violate honor and integrity. Dealing with any party or person found guilty of issues affecting integrity or honor shall be stopped. Gifts that negatively affect the interests of the employer, its activity, and the services provided may not be accepted.
  • Collection of Donations: Saudi laws permit the licensed authorities to collect donations. Consequently, the collection of donations between workers may expose them to legal accountability, which may result in penalties.

Digitizing employment contracts

To ensure employers' commitment to upload and update the information of employment contracts for private sector employees and to confirm the validity of the entered data, the Kingdom was eager to digitize the documentation of employment contracts by providing several services, including launching the Madad platform for developing and facilitating administrative and financial procedures for establishments, and launching the service of documenting contracts of the subscribers in the General Organization for Social Insurance.

Wage Protection Program

One of the initiatives of the HRSD aimed at monitoring the payment of wages to all workers in private sector establishments to determine the extent of the establishments' commitment to pay wages on time and at the agreed value.
For more information about the Wage Protection Program, click here.

 

Occupational Safety and Health

Saudi Labor Law, in its eighth chapter, clarifies the provisions related to workers' safety, protection, and health and social care. Providing a healthy and safe work environment is a major factor in attracting and stabilizing the labor force, as well as raising work performance in a way that benefits enterprises and thus the economy of countries. In this regard, the HRSD seeks to promote the concept of an appealing work environment in a variety of ways, including occupational safety and health.

The National Strategic Program for Occupational Safety and Health was launched to contribute to worker safety and health, to preserve property and the environment, to promote and develop occupational safety and health standards and practices in the workplace, and to highlight the Saudi Arabia role in applying the most recent standards in this field. Furthermore, the HRSD has launched Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

The ministry conducts inspection visits to ensure that the private sector establishments comply with implementing the Regulations, to enhance the culture of prevention, and to raise the awareness of both employers and workers about the importance of occupational health and safety requirements.Moreover, the Regulation aims to transfer the successful practical experience and practices of occupational health and safety, as well as benefit from local and international expertise to raise the level of occupational health and safety.

The ministry will comply with imposing the penalties as stated in the Labor Law against the violators of occupational health and safety regulations and resolutions. Such regulations and resolutions have stated several penalties commensurate with the violations related to occupational health and safety. The fine may amount to SAR 25,000 (≈$6664), and penalties may multiply according to the multiplicity of workers.

For more information, please visit this page.


Occupational Safety and Health Cadres Program

It is an initiative launched by the HRSD with the support of the Human Resources Development Fund to enhance the knowledge and skill of human cadres in the field of occupational safety and health through two tracks: practitioner and professional, with the aim of promoting the application of occupational safety and health practices in establishments.
For more details, visit this page.

Prohibition of Work under the Direct Sun Exposure at Noon

The HRSD issued a resolution prohibiting workers from working under direct sun exposure, for all private sector establishments from 12 PM to 3 PM. The ministry calls the employers, upon regulating the working hours, to consider the provisions of the Resolution to contribute to protecting the workers' safety and health from exposure to direct sun risks. The Resolution does not apply to workers of oil and gas companies or those engaged in emergency maintenance works, provided that the necessary precautions to protect them from sunlight damages shall be taken. Furthermore, the ministry works with municipalities to determine whether the resolution should be implemented in the affiliated regions and provinces based on the weather and temperature during the prohibition period.

Protective Measures Against Behavioral Abuse in the Workplace

The HRSD has issued a resolution to adopt the Measures for protection against behavioral abuse in the workplace, which aims to improve and develop the workplace, make it more appealing to job seekers, and protect workers' rights. The measures were implemented in accordance with the Labor Law, its executive regulations, the Saudi Cabinet Resolution on Combating Harassment Crime, some international conventions, and global practices for eliminating workplace violence and harassment. Furthermore, they were presented and revised in multiple workshops with specialists from various authorities in the private sector.


Women Empowerment

The HRSD has launched several high-quality initiatives to support and empower women in the labor market and administrative positions, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. The indicators recently reflected the ministry's success in empowering women, as the share of women in the labor market for the first quarter of 2020 increased by more than the desired target, to 27.5% rather than 24%. Women today play a developmental role in supporting the national economy and social projects.

Women's comfort & Combating discrimination in the workplace

Saudi Arabia represented by the HRSD, has been keen to open up several areas of work for women while promoting the creation of a safe work environment, by obliging private sector establishments to implement a number of regulations that guarantee the comfort and stability of working women, so that employers are characterized by respect for all, and to preserve the privacy, dignity and personal freedom of the individual guaranteed by the provisions of Islamic Sharia and regulations.
To combat discrimination in the workplace, the labor law established several rights and duties equally between men and women, such as equal pay in the case of equal value and quality of work, equal access to employment opportunities and work-specific training programs.
To view the unified regulation of the women's work environment, click here.
To participate in monitoring and reporting violations of labor regulations, click here.

Women's Empowerment Initiatives and Programs

  • Wusool Program: It aims to enable women to work in the private sector and raise their participation in the labor market by helping the employee overcome the difficulties of transportation to and from the workplace in order to support her job stability
  • Qurrah Program: It is a national initiative of the Child Welfare Authority, the Human Resources Development Corporation to support and empower Saudi working women to join the labor market and invest in it and reassure of the care provided to her children with her support in the care provided
  • Empowering women in the civil service and enhancing their leadership role: This initiative contributes to increasing the woman’s participation rate in all government sectors and at all functional levels. This may be achieved by investing her energies and capacities, expanding her work options and increasing her participation to ensure equal opportunities for both genders, and their access to senior structural leadership positions in government agencies through a series of supportive projects
  • Women Leaders Program 2030:  A training program targeting female leaders and employees expected to obtain leadership position in various sectors to provide an ideal environment that enables them to obtain information that will enrich the knowledge of the leader and provide them with all they need to be a leading model for the country to be proud of.
  • The government has provided a service that allows individuals, institutions, organizations and others to submit a complaint or communication related to discrimination, inequality or other violations.

Social Insurance and Support for Retirees

The General Organization for Social Insurance provides exceptional services to retirees and social insurance system users.

The retirement and social insurance frameworks are focused on managing the retirement affairs of civil and military state employees, as well as caring for workers in the private sector and government workers on wages, in order to provide a decent life for them and their families after they leave work due to retirement, disability, or death.

The Occupational Hazards Branch, it also provides the necessary medical care and compensation in cases of work injuries or occupational disability. It also provides care for Saudi workers who leave work due to circumstances beyond their control through the payment of unemployment compensation, training, and job search.

The organization has worked to provide and develop a range of programs and initiatives that contribute to the full benefit of customers, such as:

  • Taqdeer Program:  It is a national initiative provided by the “Social Insurance" to recognize the retirees and beneficiaries from the public and private sectors for what they have done to serve the country. The program is based on important partnerships with many successful partners to provide various services within the program tracks and objectives
  • Masaken Program: It is a financial program provided by the “Social Insurance" for eligible beneficiaries of public and private sector employees and all retirees. Also, the program was specially designed to increase the percentage of citizens owning their homes by providing many special advantages
  • Nishan Service: It is a service provided by the “Social Insurance" for government military agencies in an integrated manner to automate pension settlement procedures for military retirees through the government integration channel
  • Etizaz Program: The program aims to educate the community about the role and sacrifices of Ministry of Defense employers, and provide them with exceptional products and services for their families who are at work, retirees and the families of martyrs through partnerships with the public and private sectors

To view the services provided by the General Organization for Social Insurance, click here.

Support Initiatives and Programs

Supporting Small to Medium Enterprises

  • MONSHA'AT: It focuses on supporting, developing, and caring for small to medium enterprises in the private sector. According to international best practices, it implements and supports the programs and projects of these enterprises. It is to spread the culture and ideology of entrepreneurship, initiative, innovation, and diversification of enterprises' financial support sources.
  • BIAC: It establishes, operates, maintains, and manages business incubators and accelerators to provide entrepreneurship support, platforms, and project management services. Also, specializes in consulting and training services.
  • Technology Incubators and Accelerators Program (TIAP): It is one of the King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology programs. It was launched to support technology-based ventures and develop technology entrepreneurship.
  • Nine-Tenths 9/10: It is a program that contributes to advancing business growth by supporting small to medium enterprises through several platforms. It is for the general benefit of the entrepreneurs, owners of small to medium enterprises, independents, and productive families, such as:
    1. FORSA: It enables small enterprises to view and submit electronic quotations on government sector purchases.
    2. BAHAR: It gathers all freelancers with the most important projects.
    3. Made in Saudi Arabia: It is an e-commerce platform that enables craftsmen to open their stores to sell their locally made products.
    4. ZAD: It enables small business owners and entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and improve their decision-making process by employing interactive reports.

Support for Job Seekers

The program provides financial support to job seekers during their job search journey and provides a range of training and employment services to help them find work. Job seekers also benefit automatically by linking their profiles registered in the system to employment centers and presenting the available opportunities.

Job Qualification and Training Programs

The competent authorities in the Kingdom provide vocational training and employment-related training programs for enterprises and individuals to increase the specialized national workforce through training and qualitative qualification for work.
  • DUROUB: It is a national e-training platform that contains many free training programs, and it is available for a variety of topics that meet job requirements. It can be accessed at any time and from everywhere. Also, it provides online certificates directly after completing 70% of the training program. This contributed to the generation of 1.8 million beneficiaries, 16.2 million training programs, 10 million training hours.
  • DUROUB Platform (for individuals), click here
  • DUROUB Platform (for companies), click here
  • To register for e-courses for directed Saudization on the DUROUB Platform, click here
  • SUBOL: It is a platform that enables Saudi energies to make better education and career options through an integrated system of educational services for students, job seekers, and employees
  • Professional Certificates Support Program: The initiative was launched to motivate the national workforce and support job seekers to obtain professional certificates aligned with the current market needs
- To register for the Professional Certificates Support Program, click here.

Support for individuals, establishments, and investors during the Corona pandemic

To mitigate the economic and financial impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Saudi Arabia launched urgent measures to strengthen the private sector's and individuals' effective participation in the Kingdom's economic system, as well as implementing several initiatives and measures to mitigate the effects of this global crisis.
  • To view individual support initiatives, click here
  • To view enterprise support initiatives, click here
  • To view investors support initiatives, click here

Indicators and Numbers


For more information on workforce numbers click here.

Mobile Applications for the Human Resource Sector

To discover the key government applications for the Human Resource Sector, please click here.

Important Links

Relevant Agencies