Littler Global Guide - Saudi Arabia - Q3 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.

View all Q3 2020 Global Guide Quarterly updates   Download full Q3 2020 Global Guide Quarterly

Saudization Requirement for Engineering Profession

New Legislation Enacted

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

Under the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Decision No. 686 of 1442 H, the minimum saudization requirement for the engineering profession is 20%, for establishments employing five engineers or more. Employers in violation of this requirement may face penalties, as set out in the procedural manual issued pursuant to the Decision. The Decision came into effect on 01/06/1442 H (corresponding to August 25, 2020).

Social Insurance Extension of the SANAD Program

New Order or Decree

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

On April 3, 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) announced a furlough program for the private sector, where employers may apply to the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) to cover 60% of KSA national employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of SAR 9,000 per employee through the SANAD program (unemployment benefit program). If the employer has five employees or less, then all of them will be covered; otherwise, up to 70% of the employer's KSA national workforce may be covered through this initiative. The government has recently announced an extension of the program from November 2020 until January 2021.

Administrative Sanctions for Violations of COVID-19 Restrictions

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

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

On June 25, 2020, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development issued a notice of fines that apply to public sector employees violating the COVID-19 restrictions. Violations include holding gatherings, moving between work areas without cleaning hands, handshaking, not complying with social distancing, not complying with temperature checks, failing to wear face masks, not using paper cups, attending work with a suspected infection or having COVID-19 symptoms, as well as many others. The document sets out the consequence of a first offence and any subsequent offences, with the consequences being more severe for those senior employees of a particular grade and above. Sanctions range from warning notice, deduction in salary, withholding of a periodic bonus, to a legal penalty.

New Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development Unified Workplace Regulations

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

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

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development issued unified workplace regulations pertaining to the work environment and facility requirements within the private sector. The new requirements include:

  • Nondiscrimination between employees with regards to sex, age, performance of work, salaries for the same job position between men and women;
  • Compliance with the health and safety regulation at the workplace;
  • Providing adequate prayer rooms separate for men and women;
  • Providing offices and chairs for all the employees working at the workplace;
  • Establishing a regulation for work uniforms requirements in a manner that does not conflict with the provisions of Sharia; and
  • Providing security guards at the workplace’s main entrances or electronic security system (CCTV) to ensure security of the employees.

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.