Dependent’s fee is the responsibility of the employers, if… – legal experts

As per the government’s new policy, the dependent fee is being collected from the expats residing in the Kingdom. The dependent fee came into practice since 1st July 2017. According to the policy, expats residing in the Kingdom ought to pay SR 100 per dependent every month. Simply speaking a foreigner who lives in Saudi Arabia has to pay SR 1200 per dependent this year. The fee shall rise by SR 100 every year till 2020. So, next year expats shall be paying SR 200 per dependent per month. Recommended: Procedure to pay Dependent’s Fee for Iqama Renewal[irp]

Looks like a great deal. Many expats are worried about it. However, many Saudi companies have announced that the burden of the fee shall be borne by the company. These companies have relieved their foreign workers and told them that the dependent fee shall be completely borne by the company.  While some companies have agreed to partly share the burden. These companies will be paying half the fee and half of it would be deducted from the salary of the employee. Not bad though! These companies are sharing their worker's burden to establish better relations and retain the workers.

The lawyers and legal experts commented that there are certain responsibilities of the employer. He is the one who has to bear certain expenses of the employee. These include the recruitment fee, Iqama fee, and iqama renewal fee; work permit fee and work permit renewal fee, service transfer fee, and visa (exit and entry) fee. These fees are levied on the employer in accordance with the employment contract and the labor laws of Saudi Arabia.

What about the dependent fee? Is that the responsibility of the employer? What about those expats who are worried about the dependent fee as their companies have not made any such announcements? Is there any legal way for them to claim payment of a fee by their employers? Well, Legal experts are here with some great news. According to them, the dependent fee shall be paid by the employer if the employment contract demands so.

Lawyer Khaled Al-Saadoun, who is a legal consultant and a specialist in labor affairs has briefed on the matter.  So, recheck your employment contracts and see if any of these conditions existed;

Your employer is ought to pay the dependent fee if he allowed you to bring your family to the Kingdom. If this is written in the contract, you can demand the dependent fee from the employer.

If the employer has insisted you to bring your family to the Kingdom, he shall pay their fees.

If your relations are good with the employer, you can demand full or partial payment of the dependent tax, in the name of special privileges.[irp]

According to Al-Saadoun employer is liable to pay the expat dependent fee only if the employment contract says so. If there are any specific conditions regarding the employee’s dependent mentioned in the contract, the employee has all the rights reserved to claim the fee from employer’s pocket. Is employer liable to pay half or full fee would solely depend on the nature of the contract?

  • amer

    There is hardly any doubt that the fee will be paid by expats. Regarding negotiating with company to pay , always one can negotiate, if he is irreplaceable, ONLY IF. Few will be able to do it. Companies would prefer to hire bachelor’s instead, simple.
    Ultimately those with special skills will be paid more to retain or hire them, while others will have to compromise with either less savings or leave their families in home country.

  • Abraham Ninan

    I differ. The Saudi Labor Law states that any government fees relating to the employment of an individual will have to be paid by the Employer. Legally, therefore this covers all fees levied by the Government. If an employee has been legitimately and contractually assigned a “family-status” contract then the employer is mandated to pay related costs. I dont think that it should be the premise of this advisory article to suggest that this ‘could’ be made payable by the employee and that this needs to be negotiated with the Employer. A more appropriate advisory on this would be to seek advise from the Saudi Labor Ministry if the Employer insists on levying this charge upon the employee. In my opinion we should avoid expressing personal opinions that are unsubstantiated, even though it may be well meaning, as this could lead to further confusion in an already confused landscape of changes.

  • I agree with you to the extent that the fee relating to the employment of an individual needs to be paid by the employer. The Depdent’s fee is not related to the employment.

    The family status is a vague term used in the contracts. You must have seen that some companies offer Medical Insurance other companies deduct the cost of medical insurance from employee’s salary.
    Some offer school fee allowance for the children to the employees with the family status others don’t offer it
    There are many who don’t pay additional iqama fee for the children above 18 years under employee’s sponsorship but the company I work in pays it.
    Some companies do not cover vaccination in the medical insurance but others cover it.

    Family Status is a vague term. It is always about the benefits upon which company agrees on. The dependent’s fee is a new benefit which has not been covered in the contracts of people so far. Companies are not bound to pay it merely because of “family status” term.

  • Abraham Ninan

    Steve thank you for the response. I agree.

  • Faiyaz

    From what age of child or childrens the dependents fee has to be given their is no clear indications .

  • Faiyaz

    At what age dependent fee is applicable? Many are thinking it is for age 18 years and above.

  • Sal P

    I disagree with the comment that its employee’s responsibility to pay the Iqama fee. If you are on a family status contract it is the employers responsibility..

  • WWEFan

    If you are employed in a high standard company which takes care of its employees, it will definitely help the expat workers in paying such fees. However, if you are working for a 3rd class cheapskate company then forget about it.

  • Vineet Saini

    Yes many companies are paying and it is reasonable too. At least for the existing employees, company should pay and for any new employment contract it may be consider as a new clause and should be clear in contract, so that employee may think about their decision.
    So it is the duty of companies where they gives the family status like other fees company must pay.

    Already due to the other indirect taxes (Excise/ VAT/ Exit Re-entry cost) the living cost is inflated in KSA.