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Every Saudi and expat working in Saudi Arabia is entitled to either maternity or paternity leave as per Article 151 and Article 113 of Saudi Labor Law.
- Paternity Leave is given to a father after the delivery of a child.
- Maternity leave is given to a mother during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Paternity leave in Saudi Arabia
In case of the birth of a child, the father is entitled to get 3 fully paid days of paternity leave in KSA as per article 113 of Saudi Labor Law. It is worth mentioning that you can claim paternity leave even if your child is born outside KSA.
Maternity leave in Saudi Arabia
Every Saudi and expat working woman in KSA is entitled to 10 weeks of fully paid maternity leave as per Article 151 of Saudi Labor Law.
- 4 weeks before the delivery.
- 6 weeks after the delivery.
- The expected delivery date will be determined by a doctor.
- It is illegal to employ a woman for 6 weeks after the delivery as per Article 151 (2) of Saudi Labor Law.
Maternity leave paid or unpaid?
It is very important to note that the maternity leave in KSA is fully paid leave. Moreover, the woman who took maternity leave can also take annual leave during the same year.
Article 152 of Saudi Labor Law which used to provide for a partially paid maternity leave has been abolished by the Ministry of Labor.
Extension of maternity leave
A woman has the right to extend the maternity leave with one-month unpaid leave as per Article 151 (2) of Saudi Labor Law.
- Total = 10 weeks of maternity leave + one-month unpaid leave.
Birth of a sick child
In case of the birth of a sick or special needs child, a mother has the right to extend her maternity leave with one month fully paid leave as per Article 151 (3) of Saudi Labor Law.
In addition to this, she can request a further extension of one month of unpaid leave.
- Total = 10 weeks of maternity leave + one month paid leave + one-month unpaid leave.
Medical Care during pregnancy
Article 153 of the Saudi Labor Law requires the employer to provide medical care during pregnancy and delivery to a working woman.
One hour extra break
Once the working woman comes back to work after the maternity leave, she is entitled to a one-hour break in addition to the break hours given to other employees without any salary deduction as per Article 154 of Saudi Labor Law.
Working for another employer
A working woman cannot work for another employer during her maternity leave as per Article 157 of Saudi Labor Law. If she does so, the employer can recover the salary paid during maternity leave.
In addition to that, an expat woman is not allowed to work for another employer under Article 39 of Saudi Labor Law even when she is not pregnant.
Termination during Maternity leave
- A woman cannot be terminated by an employer for 180 days before the expected delivery date as per Article 156 of Saudi Labor Law.
- An employer can neither threaten nor terminate a woman during the maternity leave in KSA as per Article 155 of Saudi Labor Law.
- In case of an illness resulting from the pregnancy or childbirth (proven by a certificate), the employer cannot terminate her until the period of her absence exceeds 180 days as per Article 156 of Saudi Labor Law.
- A pregnant woman can be terminated only in the following two cases;
Maternity leave for expat women
It is worth mentioning that all the provisions related to maternity leave explained above are applicable to both Saudi and expat women in Saudi Arabia.
If a woman is legally working in Saudi Arabia after transferring sponsorship to a private school or any other employer, she can take 10 weeks maternity leave easily. There is a fine of SR 100,000 for violating the rules related to maternity leave in Saudi Arabia.
This is the reason some employers especially private schools in Saudi Arabia do not grant 10 weeks’ maternity leave or medical care to expat women as they are not their legal sponsors.