Littler Global Guide - Saudi Arabia - Q1 2020

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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New Resolution for Nighttime Employees

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Sara Khoja, Partner and Sarit Thomas, Attorney-at-Law - Clyde & Co.

Effective January 1, 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development issued a resolution providing for minimum requirements employers must provide to their employees who are required to work between 11pm-6am. The requirements include: appropriate first aid arrangements and emergency procedures; when employee does not wish to undertake night work they may submit a medical report to indicate why they are not fit, which the employer is required to keep confidential; when the employee is not fit to undertake night time work, the employer is required to place employee in a similar position working normal working hours; provide access to adequate food services; employees are required to receive benefits such as transportation or transporting allowance and be compensated appropriately for undertaking such hours of work and receive the same rights and benefits as those undertaking normal working hours; no wage discrimination between night time employees and those who undertake working hours; and minimum rest periods of 12 hours between shifts and night time shift cycles.

COVID-19: Work from Home Procedures

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

Authors: Sara Khoja, Partner and Sarit Thomas, Attorney-at-Law - Clyde & Co.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) instructed private sector establishments on March 18, 2020, to suspend work at their main offices and instead activate work from home procedures. They must also reduce the number of employees working in their branches, offices and other facilities to a maximum of 40% of the total headquarter (HQ) workforce. The work from home initiative was initially for 15 days, but is to continue until the Ministry of Interior and MHRSD advises otherwise. MHRSD has mandated that 14 days of paid leave (in addition to all usual leave entitlements under the labour law) must be granted to employees in categories, which are identified as high risk with regard to COVID-19. These include those with autoimmune disease, cancer, respiratory illness, chronic illnesses and pregnant women or breastfeeding women as well as employees aged 55 and above. Such employees are not obliged to work from home. The following sectors are exempt: vital infrastructure sectors and companies involved in food, medicine, and their supply chains. Any employer wishing to be exempt from the suspension must apply to the MHRSD for registration of the exemption. Those sectors still operating work places (i.e., branches, offices and other facilities, other than HQs) must comply with the mandated requirements, such as only 40% of the workforce may work on its premises and employers must require all employees to disclose if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19: Mandated Daily Curfew

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

Authors: Sara Khoja, Partner and Sarit Thomas, Attorney-at-Law - Clyde & Co.

On the March 23, 2020, the KSA authorities issued a mandate imposing a daily curfew for 21 days in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The curfew prohibits people in KSA from leaving their homes between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. The following sectors are excluded from the curfew: food, healthcare, media, transportation, ecommerce activities, accommodation services, energy, financial services and insurance, internet and communication network operators, and water.

COVID-19: Automatic Iqama Extension

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

Authors: Sara Khoja, Partner and Sarit Thomas, Attorney-at-Law - Clyde & Co.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all government agencies are currently closed. As a result, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development stated that foreign nationals whose work permit/Iqama expired, or are due to expire before June 30, 2020, will be exempt from expat levy fees and will be granted a three month extension without charge.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.