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    What You Need to Know About Saudi Employment Contracts

    If you’re setting your sights on working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are a few things that you need to get acquainted with. Of course, there’s the culture and customs in the country, and then there’s work.

    ALSO READ: [Guide] Applying for a Work Visa in Saudi Arabia

    If you want to become great at your job and if you intend to make it as smooth-sailing for as long as you can, be sure to get to know about your rights as an employee and make sure that you understand the terms and provisions stated in your employment contract. This should provide you all the basic things that you need to achieve in your job, as well as the benefits that come along with it.

    Here’s What You Need to Know about the Saudi Employment Contract

    Get to Know About the Employment Contract in Saudi Arabia

    By understanding you employment contract, you are one step closer to ensuring your success (and protection) at work.

    Basically, your employment contract serves as a written agreement between you and your employer, so it’s important that you understand most parts (if not all) of it. Your contract will serve as your guide, indicating your job description, working hours, salary, and benefits, among others. The contract also details the terms and conditions you agree on prior to entering, ending, or renewing the work contract.

    Here are the basic things that you need to note in your employment contract:

    1. Entering a Contract
      1. The contract must have several duplicates, one copy each for both the employer and the employee.
      2. The contract must specify the name of the employer, workplace, name of employee, nationality, salary and benefits, date of employment, and duration of contract (if fixed).
      3. Employment contract for non-Saudis should be based on a definite term. If the contract does not indicate the term, then the work permit shall serve as the legal basis for the duration of the contract.
    2. Ending/Terminating the Employment Contract
      1. Both the employer and employee agree to terminate the contract.
      2. The term by which the contract is considered valid has already lapsed/expired (unless brought up for renewal).
      3. The employee reaches the age of retirement (60 years for men and 55 years for women).
      4. Force majeure or circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract.
      5. The company has been shut down for good.
      6. The party deciding to terminate the contract should still base their action on the notice period. Otherwise, they can be held liable to paying an amount equal to the worker’s salary for the remaining duration of the notice.
      7. The employer will not be required to give an advance notice or settle indemnity if the employee:
        • Assaults the employer, manager, or any of his superiors.
        • Fails to perform essential obligations or follow legitimate orders despite written warnings.
        • Has committed grave misconduct or any actions with dishonesty or lack of integrity.
        • Has intentionally caused material loss to the company/employer.
        • Has committed forgery or falsification of official and legal documents.
        • Fails to report to work without valid reason for more than 15 consecutive days or more than 30 days in a year, despite written warnings.
        • Discloses work-related confidential information.

    On the other hand, the employee may leave their job without notice if the employer:

    • Fails to fulfill his obligations based on the contract.
    • Resorts to fraud at the time the contract was being established.
    • Requires the employee to perform a task or a role without their consent that is entirely different from the nature of the work agreed upon.
    • Assaults or commits an indecent act on the employee.
    • Treats employees with cruelty, injustice, or insult.
    • Fails to enforce measures to address serious work hazards despite knowing about them.
    • Causes the employee to appear as the one who terminated the contract.
    • Understanding the Probation Period
      1. The contract must clearly state how long an employee is placed on probation at work.
      2. This period should not go beyond 90 days, although this may reach up to 180 days, as specified in a written agreement between both parties.
      3. The employee cannot be placed under probation more than once under the same employer.
      4. The employer or employee may terminate the contract during this period, unless the contract specifies otherwise.
      5. If the work contract is terminated during this period, neither the employer nor the employee will be held liable to any payment or compensation.

    The above details are just some of the things that you need to know regarding your employment contract in Saudi Arabia. If there are still other concerns that you would like to raise or clarify, it would be best to bring it up with your prospective agency or employer. Good luck!

    Disclaimer: The details provided in this article are for information-sharing purposes only and should not be considered as the legal basis for any employment-related concerns. To know more about the employment contract under the Saudi Labour Law, you may visit the official website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development for specific details.