Signing to a contract means agreeing to work for an employer for the next few years. If you are happy with the terms — salary, accommodation, other benefits — then signing your contract becomes more of a formality.
Signing your contract because you have to and not fully aware of your duties and rights could spell uninspiring stint laden with complaints and confusion.
Therefore it pays to review your employment contract carefully, consult your peers, do some research, Once you’re happy with its content, you’ll have peace of mind affixing your signature of approval.
In Saudi Arabia, where cultural and language differences can pose a challenge to many migrant workers, some things need to be observed when you examine your employment contract.
It’s evident for an employee to seek competitive pay for services he or she is selling. However, salary is heavily factored by the availability of a capable workforce and level of specialization. That means if there are plenty of applicants for domestic work and other countries ask even less than what Filipinos demand such work in Saudi Arabia, the salary range could go down.
Nonetheless, research on the salary scale for jobs whose salaries are not regulated by the Philippine Labor Department.
Nature of Work
Ensure to check the quality of the job, daily tasks, who you are reporting to, and other details of day to day work. This helps you understand the amount of effort you need to expend. For example, if you work as a domestic helper, do you work with another helper, how many floors is the house and the floor area so you’ll figure out if you can get the job done in time.
Salary and Other Cash Benefits
You took this job under the assumption that it pays higher than the previous post you had. But look beyond the numbers, and consider other factors: do you need to spend on transport from home to work, are you paid to work overtime, or is government-mandated compensation when working during holidays. If you fail to check this, you’ll be sorry to work extra hours without compensation.
Housing and Accommodation
Employers typically provide housing accommodation or housing allowance to employees from overseas. But seeing this provision in your contract is not enough. You have the right to ask questions such as the condition of your dwelling (are you living alone in the room, or places with bunkers, and other housing expenses). Housing allowance is around 20% of your salary, and if you are offered less than this, try to negotiate for a more favorable deal.
Also, think if your family pays a visit. Will, there is enough privacy or space for them in the accommodation provided?
Such an allowance is necessary if you need to commute or even when provided with a car by the company. Transportation allowance is about 8-10% of your salary. However, you don’t think about worrying over this if your company has available vehicles to transport you and other workers in and out of your workplace for free.
Vacations and Leaves
We discussed various vacation benefits for workers in Saudi Arabia, so taking note of this is essential to avoid potential conflicts and misunderstandings over how holiday / sick leaves are granted to workers. For instance, workers in Saudi Arabia are entitled at least 21 paid holidays every year. Once you renew your contract after spending years in the company, this number should increase.
The family status enables a worker to bring his family into Saudi Arabia to reunite with him. Without this, it’s virtually impossible to bring your family to Saudi Arabia, so seek to advise on this matter if you cannot find this provision in your contract.
While there is no particular mention about individual tickets accorded to employees, but it would be better to raise this topic so you can expect whether air tickets are to be given freely to workers or not.
Usually, the probation period is marked 90 days maximum, so employees and employers find time to evaluate each other’s performance. Within the probationary period, both employer and employee can terminate the working relationship without notice.
Check on what kind of insurance is provided. Sometimes there are medical insurance or dental insurance offered to employees and even to their families as they live in Sauri Arabia.
Education for Children
Some companies offer to shoulder expenses associated with the knowledge of children of the worker. You need not worry about this if you’re not planning to let your family settle in Saudi Arabia. But if you do, look at the provision that outlines the benefits such as the amount of grant and conditions.