Weekends are not part of Annual Leave, SR 100,000 fine for Violation

Saudi Ministry of Labor has announced annual leaves mandatory for all employees whether they are working in private or public companies. These annual leaves are the legal right of an employee and have to be paid as per annual leaves policy issued by the ministry of employment. Some companies apply their individual rules on annual leaves and count weekends in the context of annual leaves. This way these companies and organizations deprive employees of their basic right to utilize annual leaves. These annual leave include sick leaves, emergency vacations and traditional holidays comprising of religious and national celebrations and events. Recommended: Rules related to Annual Leave under Saudi Labor Law[irp]

Some employers are trying to consume annual leaves of employees and adjust it in weekend holidays which completely deprive employees from the relaxation of paid leaves. Taking notice of this violation of annual leaves requirement by employment law in Saudi Arabia, the ministry has circulated a circular which has clearly notified that those companies which will be found involved in such activity will be fine. Ministry of Labor has taken witnesses from different cases especially in private sector where employer companies have been found involved in several violations. Complaints against violation of annual leaves rule have been reported by many local and expatriate employees. It points towards an attempt of employer companies to over-burden employees with work offering no additional payments.

It has led to low morale and defected loyalty level among employees which has not only affected individual lives of employees but has also impacted the economy. Taking the notice of this issue over multiple complaints made, Saudi Labor Law has introduced punishment of fine and closure of employer companies which are trying to exploit rights of employees in regard of annual leaves. It has made clear by the ministry to employers that annual leaves are not part of weekend holidays and will be available to employees with wages.

Employees have less awareness about their rights in Saudi Arabia hence this factor is duly exploited by employers. Some employees fear to lose their jobs and employers take advantage of their being deserving. Weekend offs are officially announced holidays and have no replacement or adjustment over any other holiday. It is compulsory for all companies to follow this rule and they are not entitled to adjust officially announced holidays anywhere else to exploit rights of naïve employees. Moreover, no employer can deduct salary of an employee for weekend holidays in any case. These statements are duly circulated by Saudi Ministry of Labor to all large, medium and small companies and other individual employers.[irp]

Penalties for Violation of the Rule

  • Penalties for violation of this law have also been announced that every company will be fined for SR 100,000.
  • If companies will not pay fine in time, the fine penalty will be increased on daily basis of non-submission of fine.
  • In case the violation will be continued after fine, the alleged company will be banned for 30 days.
  • Even if the violation of rule will become severe the ministry has right to cancel the license of such companies.

Source: Saudi Gazette

  • umar farook

    Dear Steve,

    In our company they are providing 21 days annual leave and salary for the same. We know this is not as per labor law can you little clarify more in this to get clear picture. Ex (21 days include week ends or exclude week ends)


  • Akbar

    this and false news stop misleading people! i have an official answer from MOL The Law doesn’t provide that the annual leave days are working days. If the weekends overlap with the annual leave, they shall be counted in the annual leave days and for which the Employee is not entitled to additional leave days unless the employment contract or the organization bylaws provide otherwise

  • Please share with us the Official Answer from MOL so that we can amend the article.

  • Akbar

    first of all : from where you got the information presented on this site ? is this a genuine trustable documented source ?make the source public , direct the readers to that information (the Arabian labor law has 82 pages and it is in Arabic language(

    2. Contact the MOL for an oficial answer example : i’m interested to take 20 days annual leave in a row, consecutive, the weekend it is deducted from my annual leave ? – trust me you’ll get your answer
    3. bear in mind the MOL DISCLAIMER policy,:
    “The user or anyone else shall not publish the advice in the media or any publications,social media , books , articles and others.”

    we are able to conclude again that this website has one single purpose , to attract viewers and rating, and not to properly support and inform the readers.

    please be free to prove me that I’m wrong, by making all the necessaries formalities and providing a reliable source of information , by this i mean any documented article that I can print along with the supporting official material and go to my employers requesting the application of the law

  • I have stated my source upstairs and given the link to one of the leading newspaper who confirmed it from a practicing lawyer.
    Saudi Labor Law is available in the English language as well, if you had time to search for it.
    Why didn’t you contact the labor office and proved me wrong?
    People like you have no positive thing to do, you can just criticize other people.

  • Akbar

    act as a man with integrity behavior stop removing my comments ! or reporting like spam!

    MOL DISCLAIMER policy,:
    “The user or anyone else shall not publish the advice in the media or any publications,social media , books , articles and others.”
    take time and read the above message carefully!
    this is part of the minister of labor response to me!
    im not allowed to apply the official response ,in fact nobody is allowed and there are severe consequence as MOL is starting when they reply to you!
    again you are just misleading people and in fact are only searching for traffic for your website
    regarding your remark : ” I have stated my source upstairs and given the link to one of the leading newspaper who confirmed it from a practicing lawyer. ” – this is equal to zero if there is no Minister Of Labor official response signed
    By the way when you apply for an inquiry on MOL you have to use Passport or Iqama wich of this did you use ?
    Provide me with the official signed pdf english Saudi Labor Law
    P.S. in fact i’m in Jeddah “Tete-a-tete” you can contact me through the email , let’s see how to europeans debate on this information

  • Akbar,
    You have been irritating me. As I said earlier, I have a source of Information for what I have stated above. If you have a better source, bring it to me and I will edit the article.
    Do something productive rather than bashing other’s work.

  • Abraham Ninan

    I agree with Akbar’s comment. I have not seen any such notification. To legitimize your statement about a circular being made to this effect, please provide the reference of the circular. For future too please ensure that any such statements are properly validated with the official reference.

  • Abraham Ninan

    Steve while I applaud your blog and the extremely useful information, may I caution that not everything unfortunately that appears in the newspapers are validated information unless they are very specific about the source.
    Another suggestion too: I have oft found your blogs very useful but was dismayed that I couldnt copy the same so that I could circulate it to my staff. I understand that you probably do not want anyone to plagiarize your content. However copying is the sincerest form of flattery – so you might wish to consider this.

  • Abraham, I am not presenting a case in the legal court where press reports are inadmissible evidence. As stated earlier, I have given my source. If you have a better source with concrete information, provide it to me so that I can edit the article.

  • Hi Abraham, thank you very much for these kind words.
    If I enable copy paste on my blog, people start copying the entire article and reproduce it in different Facebook groups which is not obviously in my beneficial interest.