Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Vacations and Holiday Leaves Under Saudi Labor Law Explained

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Saudi Labor Law offers relatively generous holiday privileges to migrant workers and exptriates working in the Kingdom. Many Filipino migrant workers may not be aware of the vacation leaves they are entitled to. But when followed religiously, companies are bound to grant the following vacations for employees under the law.

Annual Leave
Saudi Labor Law stipulates that workers are allowed to have 21 days paid annual vacation. If your contract offers fewer days, you may request your employer during negotiation to increase it to 21 days. It will even become 30 days once a worker completes five consecutive years of service in a company. If this is not what’s being followed by your employer, the company or individual violates Article 109.1 of Saudi Labor Law. However, it should be kept in mind that you can only apply for vacation after completing two years of employment with the Kafeel — the Saudi sponsorship system.

Every employee working in Saudi Arabia should avail of vacation leaves during the years it is due. Otherwise, it becomes the prerogative of the employer to either accumulate the leaves to future years or forfeit the benefit.

Sick Leave
An employee whose illness has been proven is allowed to take four months sick leave from employer. Under such conditions employer cannot remove him from payrool and terminate him from the job. For this to be properly implemented, a doctor’s certification stating in clear terms the number of days the worker needs to rest is needed. Otherwise, it is the discretion of the employer to honor the request without doctor’s certificate.

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It is possible to connect sick leave with annual holiday benefit. The following lists down the quota which is implemented on yearly basis.

* First 30 days- Fully paid
* Next 60 days – 3/4 of total wages
* Next 30 days – Unpaid

Death in the Family
Under Article 160 of Saudi Labor Law, in case of death of spouse or any other blood relation in the family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter), workers are entitled 3 days paid leave. In the case of female worker, she is entitled 15 days paid leave.

Photo credit: www.saudigazette.com.sa
Photo credit: www.saudigazette.com.sa

Hajj Holidays
Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage among Muslim faithful held at the holy city of Mecca. If an employee joins the Hajj, he is allowed 10 days of paid vacation. However, this is only possible once every five years with the same employer. Also, employee is required to finish two years with the current company before availing of this privilege.

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Marriage Leave
Employees are given 3 days of paid marriage leave once during his tenure with the company. Therefore, if you will file for two weeks of holiday to get married, 3 days of which will be deducted from Marriage Leave and the rest from your Annual Leave.

Maternity Leave
According to Article 151 to 156 of Saudi Labor Law, female workers are entitled to 10 weeks of leave to deliver a child: 4 weeks before delivery date and 6 weeks after. This leave can also be connected with Annual Leave if the worker chooses to. The probable date of delivery is determined by an authorized physician in a written certificate. During the period of Maternity Leave, the company cannot terminate the worker and remove her from payroll.

Maternity Leaves may or may not be fully paid depending on how long has the female worker served the company.

* 3 years or more – Fully paid
* 1 year – Half paid
* Less than 1 year – Unpaid

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Male workers can also avail of one day paid paternity leave to attend to newborn child.

Eid ul Fitr
According to Article 112 of Saudi Labor Law, workers are allowed to have 4 paid vacations from 30th Ramadan for the Eid ul Fitr.

Eid ul Adha
In the same Article, workers are allowed to have 4 paid vacations from 9th Zil Hajja for the Eid ul Adha.

National Day
Celebrated every 23rd of September, National Day of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a holiday and workers are granted one-day paid holiday.

Important Note on Domestic Workers
Leaves mentioned above do not apply to household workers, drivers and visas sponsored by individual Saudis to work at homes. A domestic worker is entitled one month paid leave after two years in the job with the same employer. They are also entitled one day off every week.

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