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The Labor and Workmen Law of the Kingdom has been approved by the Council of Ministers on his Decision No 745 dated 24 Sha’ban 1389 H. (4 November 1969) and issued under Royal Decree No. M/21 of 6 Ramadan 1389 H. (6 November 1969). Labor disputes are governed by this law. Under Article 2, the provisions of this Law shall apply to the following: ©Saudia-Online

  1. a- Any contract under which any person undertakes to work for the account of an employer under the latter's direction or control in consideration of wage.
  2. Contracts of Apprenticeship (industrial indentures).
  3. Workmen of the government, local authorities, charitable institutions, and public organizations.

Article 147 of the law states that "a workman shall not be employed for more than eight actual working hours in any one day, or forty-eight hours a week, in all months of the year, with the exception of the month of Ramadan when actual working hours shall not exceed six hours a day or thirty-six hours a week, exclusive of the intervals reserved for prayer, rest, and meals. The number of working hours maybe raised to nine hours a day in respect of certain categories of workmen or in certain industries and operations where the workman does not work continuously, such as seasonal establishments, hotel, snack bars, restaurants, etc. The number of daily working hours may be reduced for certain categories of workmen, industries, and operations referred to in this Article, these to be determined by decision of the Minister of Labor." Articles 148-159 (Chapter IX) of the said law deal with some other aspects of working hours and weekly holidays. ©Saudia-Online

Article 151 defines the wage for additional work hours to be the workman’s normal wage plus fifty percent. Article 153 stipulates that the workman who has completed one year in service of the employer shall be entitled to an annual vacation of fifteen days with full wages payable in advance. This vacation shall be increased to 21 days when the workman completes ten continuous years in service of the employer.

Chapter XI of the said law concerned with Labor Commissions and Settlement of Disputes. The Law States that the Labor and Settlement of Disputes Commissions shall be as follows:

  1. The Primary Commissions for Settlement of Disputes.
  2. The Supreme Commissions for Settlement of Disputes.

Article 174 defines the exclusive jurisdiction of "The Primary Commission for Settlement of Disputes" as:

1- To render final decisions on:

a) Labor disputes, the value of which does not exceed three thousand Riyals.
b) Disputes relating to the stay of execution of decisions to terminate workmen, which are filed in accordance with the provisions of this law.
c) Disputes relating to the imposition of fines or requests for exemption from such fines.

2- To render decisions of first instance on:

a) Labor disputes, the value of which exceeds three thousand Riyals.
b) Disputes pertaining to labor injuries whatever the amount involved may be.
c) Disputes pertaining to termination of service.

Article 176 states that "the Supreme Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction to render final and definitive decisions in all disputes referred to it on appeal and shall likewise be competent to impose upon the violators of the provisions of this Law the penalties prescribed herein". ©Saudia-Online

For further details pertaining to the Labor and Workmen law and attached procedures, contact the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Labor Affairs Agency (see appendix I for address).

A seven-chapter new social insurance system was issued in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dec 15, 2000

Important Note: The English translation of the above regulations is for general information only. The Arabic text is the official text that has legal force.

Back to Business Guide 

 Sources: The Commercial office, Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington, D.C. and other sources compiled by Saudia-Online staff



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 December 23, 2000 23:15:42

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