What are the rules of emergency leave in Saudi Labor Law?

Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia have confusion regarding the rules of emergency leave and getting the exit reentry visa as it is not covered in Saudi Labor Law. We have addressed this topic in detail below.

What is an Emergency situation?

When expatriates work far away from their own countries (in Saudi Arabia) leaving their homes, family members and friends behind, there are many chances that they face with some emergency and have to go back to their native countries.

This is an emergency situation in which emergency leave is the only option which expatriates can avail and go back to their countries. In Saudi Arabia, many companies have a policy for the emergency leave of 15 days which can be availed by the employee in case of an emergency.

Obviously, in the case of an emergency, the employee cannot give any notice to the employer. However, still, it rests upon the employer to evaluate the reason for emergency leave and approve or reject it. If it is so, what does Saudi Labor Law say about emergency leave? Read below.

Emergency Leave as per Saudi Labor Law

Many kafeels in Saudi Arabia exploit the employees when they ask for emergency leaves. Kafeels become rude and just reject the application of leave without being empathetic.

They don’t even consider the emotional condition of the worker whose father or mother has passed away thousands of miles away from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They don’t even think that this worker has no one here to share his grief and this is the reason he wants to exit Saudi Arabia on emergency vacation.

They think about nothing but the interruption in their work. Saudi Labor Law entitles the worker to avail 21 or 30 days annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave and another type of leaves every year.

We have covered this in this link “Vacation under Saudi Labor Law”. But as far as Emergency Leave is concerned, Saudi Labor Law is silent about it.

Saudi Labor Law is silent about Emergency Leave

When Saudi Labor Law is silent about the Emergency Leave, it means there is no one to regulate this right of the expatriates. If the rule of emergency leave is the company’s policy, one can avail this.

If there is no rule about emergency leave in your company’s policy, you are just at the mercy of your Kafeel. He can allow you to go back to your country and he may reject this application of emergency leave straightforward. 

Why is Emergency Leave not covered by the Law?

Saudi Labor Law does not cover emergency leave and there is a reason behind this. If the right to avail emergency leave is given to the expatriate, he may exploit this right.

Going on an emergency vacation can disrupt the working of the Kafeel or employer. He may have to face financial loss due to this problem. This is the reason Saudi Labor Law left it open to the Kafeel to decide about these critical situations.

However, Kafeels should also act like humans when accepting or rejecting the application for the emergency leave.

Source: Saudi Labor Law

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.