Rights for Expatriates under Saudi Labor Law

Being an expatriate, you should know your rights given by Saudi Labor Law to avoid unfair treatment or termination by employers. In this article, we have explained all the relevant provisions of the Saudi Labor Law for expatriates.

Recruitment Expenses

The Employer is not allowed to ask the worker to bear expenses related to recruitment, fees on issue & renewal of residence permit (Iqama) & work license, fees resulting from renewal delay, fees of sponsorship transfer for work, job title change fees, and exit re-entry visas fees. Article 40 (1) of the Saudi Labor Law

The right to Iqama

If your sponsor does not provide you Iqama within three months of your arrival to Saudi Arabia, you can change your job without the permission of the employer.

Probation Period

According to Saudi labor law, the probation period cannot exceed 6 months. If your employer asks you to extend the probation period beyond 6 months, you should not allow it as it is against the law. 

Right to have a Contract

It is your right to ask for a proper employment contract after joining the employer. If the contract is in Arabic, you can ask for a contract either written in English or in both languages.

Early Termination of Contract

In case of unfair or unlawful termination of the contract, an employee or employer is entitled to some compensation which is explained in Article 77 of Saudi Labor Law.


Although it is not covered by the contract, Saudi Labor Law sets a maximum limit of 48 working hours in a week. If your employer is asking you to work more than that, you are actually entitled to overtime of 1.5 times of normal time wages. 

Annual Leave and Vacations

Every employee is entitled to get annual leave and other vacations in Saudi Arabia such as sick leave.

Air Ticket

We have explained the “Right of Air Ticket as per Saudi Labor Law” in this link.

Notice Period

An employer needs to give proper notice to his employee if he wants to terminate the contract. Recommended: Notice Period Under Saudi Labor Law

Resigning without finishing a contract

There are some cases when an employee can resigning without finishing a contract and without rendering any notice to the employer, these cases have been explained in this link. “Resignation without Notice Period“.

End of service Benefits

Employees are entitled to get the end of service benefits at the end of their employment term. For the detailed reading of your entitlement of End of Service Benefits, please read this “End of Service Benefits Calculation”.

The fee for changing jobs

According to Saudi Labor Law, the new employer to whom an employee is transferring in will bear all the expenses of Iqama Transfer or changing jobs. 

Death or Disability at the work site

If an employee dies or gets permanent partial or full disability on the worksite, he is entitled to compensation for Work Injury under Saudi Labor Law” from GOSI.

Relocation of Employee by Employer

An employer cannot transfer an employee or relocate him to another location without the written permission of the employee. 

Assigning Additional Work

As per Article 38 of the Saudi Labor Law, an employer cannot assign the work to an employee in addition to what has been agreed upon between them. In the case of an emergency, even if he has to assign it, it will not be more than 30 days in a year.

Emergency Leave

An employee may need emergency leave for some days while working in Saudi Arabia. We have published a separate article on this topic “Rules regarding Emergency Leave in Saudi Arabia”

Salary Deduction

An employer is allowed to deduct salary of a worker under certain conditions only within the prescribed salary deduction rules in Saudi Labor Law.

Employment Certificate

According to article 64 of the Saudi Labor Law, at the end of the employment agreement, the employer must issue a certificate of employment (free of charge) to the employee. The certificate must not include anything that can harm the reputation of the employee.

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