This section contains information about the Saudi government 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 the Kingdom's 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
To review more laws and regulations, click here.
Human Resources and Social Development Strategy
Employment in the government sector
The Kingdom of 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 Kingdom's 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. The Kingdom of 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 to its endeavors to promote the principle of investing in human capital by developing the skills of public employees by training them and obtaining appropriate qualification. The Kingdom of 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 Kingdom's Vision 2030.
- The unified national platform for employment: The Platform, with its beta release, links the jobseekers to the available vacancies in both public and private sectors through a comprehensive and smooth digital alignment that achieves effectiveness, accuracy and transparency in finding job opportunities.
- Employment in Supportive Government Jobs (SAED): it is a program that is created for citizens who have high school certificates or below to search for jobs by registering their data to be nominated for vacant jobs.
- National Labor Gateway: It provides a full-fledged platform for the private and public sectors as well as service providers in the Saudi labor market. Also, it brings together job seekers and employers with offering effective and efficient services for employment and training that increase stability and up-skilling of Saudi nationals and give equal opportunities for all.
- Employment in the health sector.
- Employment in the justice sector.
- Employment in the education sector.
- Employment in the environmental sector.
- Employment in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
Employment in the Private Sector
The National Labor Gateway (Taqat): An online platform for the labor market in the Kingdom that brings together job seekers with employers. It allows the application, exchange of employment, and training services to be efficient and effective for the workforce's stability.
- Service: Taqat Registration for Employers.
- Service: Taqat Registration for Jobseekers.
- Service: Registration Job Seekers at HADAF.
- Employment Support Initiative: An initiative that is launched to subsidize the wages of Saudi men and women in the private sector by 30% and up to 50% or a maximum of 3000 riyals.
- Temporary work - direct contracting: a program that facilitates access to the workforce by enabling individuals wishing to work for establishments to register on the site of 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 is a platform that is 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 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development 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.
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 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development 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.
Rights and duties of Workers
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Worker has rights and duties that have been taken into account by Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development as a legislator and regulator of the labor market, and these rights and duties are consistent with human rights in the Kingdom, which are represented by Human Rights Commission. The following is an overview of the employee's rights and duties:
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 the Kingdom.
The percentage of the amounts deducted may not exceed half of Worker's due wage, unless it is proven to the Labor Disputes Settlement Authority that the deduction is possible to exceed that percentage.
Employer shall pay Worker an additional wage for overtime equal to the hourly wage plus 50% of his/her basic wage.
For more details, please refer to Chapter 1 of Article 6 of the Labor Law.
Working Hours & Breaks
Worker 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 so that Worker shall not remain in the workplace for more than twelve hours per day.
Worker shall not be under the authority of 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.
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 his/her leave thirty days prior to the leave.
With the approval of Employer, the leave or part thereof may be postponed to the following year.
Worker has the right to receive the leave wages that he/she did not enjoy if he/she leaves 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 he/she is affiliated with an academic institution.
Worker may take an unpaid leave with the approval of Employer.
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 Worker shall have the right to maternity leave with full pay for a period of ten weeks, shall be distributed upon her discretion, beginning with a maximum of four weeks before the likely date of confinement. Under no circumstances may Female Worker be employed after childbirth during the six weeks following childbirth.
For more details, please refer to Chapter 4 of Article 6 of the Labor Law.
For more details, please refer to Chapter IV of Article Five of the Labor Law.
Leave Work without Notice
- 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 his/her 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 his/her 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 was 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
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 his/her disposal and maintaining the same, in addition to the property of the facility.
Committing to good conduct and behavior, working on the spirit of cooperation between him and his colleagues, obeying his superiors, and being keen on satisfying the clients of the facility within the scope of his competence and within 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 his/her work, whether paid or unpaid.
Not to exploit his/her work in the facility to achieve a personal interest for him/herself or for others at the expense of the facility.
Update his/her data in the facility whenever something new occurs in his/her marital status or place of residence.
Adhere to the instructions, regulations, customs and traditions in force in the country.
Not to use the facility's tools and equipment for private purposes.
Professional Code of Ethics
MHRSD has issued 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, 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 to enable 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, which leads to the success of the work entrusted to team members, and Worker sharing of his/her experiences and knowledge with his/her other colleagues has a great impact in 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 the means of 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 his/her job duties of honoring and respecting the superiors, Worker shall, in the interest of the work, report any irregularities he/she discovers, in accordance with the applicable policies.
- Conflict of interest: Worker shall avoid any actual or potential conflict of interest suspected by him/her and Worker shall not carry out any of the acts that may benefit him/her 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 the 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 require 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 benefit 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, collection of donations spontaneously 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
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 Ministry of Labour and Social Development 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 Kingdom's role in applying the most recent standards in this field. Furthermore, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development 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 raise the awareness of both employers and workers about the importance of the requirements of occupational health and safety.Moreover, the Regulation aims to transfer the successful practical experience and practices of occupational health and safety, as well as benefiting from local and international experience 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), and penalties may multiply according to multiplicity of workers.
For more information, please visit this page.
Occupational Safety and Health Cadres Program
Prohibition of Work under the Direct Sun Exposure at Noon
Protective Measures Against Behavioral Abuse in the Workplace
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has launched several high-quality initiatives to support and empower women in the labor market and in administrative positions, in line with the Kingdom's 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
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 reassuring 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 a leadership position in various sectors with the aim of providing an ideal environment that enables them to obtain information that will enrich the knowledge of the leader and provide her with all she needs 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
- Taqdeer Program: It is a national initiative provided by the “Social Insurance" in recognition of the retirees and beneficiaries from the public and private sectors on what they have done in serving the country. The program is based on important partnerships with many success 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 and 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 for Job Seekers
Service: Payment of unemployment benefits.
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 privet sector. According to with international best practices, it implements and supports the programs and projects of theses 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, it is specialized 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 advance 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:
- FORSA: It enables small enterprises to view and submit electronic quotations on government sector purchases.
- BAHAR: It gathers all freelancers with the most important projects.
- Made in Saudi Arabia: It is an e-commerce platform that enables craftsmen to open their stores to sell their locally made products.
- ZAD: It enables small business owners and entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and improve their decision-making process by employing interactive reports.
Job Qualification and Training Programs
- SAIFI: It is a program for students over the age of 17 to provide them with essential skills that are eligible for the labor market. It enables them to invest their spare time during the vacation in a beneficial way.
- To create an account in the summer training portal (SAIFI), click here.
- 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.
- To register on DUROUB Platform (for individuals), click here.
- To register on DUROUB Platform (for companies), click here.
- To register for e-courses for directed Saudization on 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.
Support for individuals, establishments, and investors during the Corona pandemic
To view individual support initiatives, click here.
To view enterprise support initiatives, click here.
To view investors support initiatives, click here.
Indicators and Numbers
|Indicator||Current||Target in 2030|
|Saudis Unemployment Rate||9% 2nd quarter of 2020||7%|
|Percentage of Female Workforce||31.4% 31.4% 2nd quarter of 2020||30%|
|Percentage of SMEs' contribution to GDP||28.75% In 2019||35%|
|Percentage of Funding SMEs||52% 3rd quarter of 2020||20%|
|Number of Freelancers||2,100,000 independent worker (1st week of 2020)|
Labor Force Distribution
Based on the estimates of the Labor Force that was conducted by the General Authority for Statistics for the fourth quarter of 2021 by sex in the private and public sector, the results showed a significant increase in the total female percentage rate to 27.7%, in addition to 26.5% for males, Saudis and non-Saudis.
|Sector Type Saudis Non-Saudis Total|
|Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total|
|Public sector 59.2 37.5 52.8 3.8 6.3 4.1 26.5 27.7 26.7|
|Private sector 40.4 61.2 46.5 74.6 16.4 67.8 60.6 47.2 57.9|
|Total 99.6 98.7 99.3 78.4 22.7 71.9 87.1 74.9 84.6|
For more information on workforce numbers click here.
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