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New Labor Law amendments will not touch 2-day weekly off

  • Publish Date

    March 22, 2021

RIYADH — There won’t be any change in the existing two-day weekly off for employees in the private sector when the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development implements the proposed amendments in the Labor Law.

Also an employer can adapt the working hours in accordance with the nature of his establishment’s activity and the work assigned to his employees, without violating the norms set for working hours, according to a report in Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

The ministry recently presented the proposed amendments in front of the stakeholders, inviting their suggestions and opinions before finalizing the draft.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette had published earlier about the ministry’s plan to introduce proposed amendments in the Labor Law in the near future.

The ministry is heading to make key amendments in the Labor Law to make the existing rules and regulations more effective and employment friendly so as to achieve a qualitative improvement in the employment market situations, especially in the productive and service sectors.

The ministry has been and is still in consultations and deliberations with specialists and experts on the proposed amendments that cover 29 legal articles of the Labor Law, besides adding a new article to the law for the first time.

The proposed amendments include reducing working hours to the maximum allowed weekly working hours, as well as a reduction during the month of Ramadan for Muslim workers.

The amendments aim to support the trend to develop existing systems and regulations in a way that contributes to supporting and reforming the labor market and providing the appropriate legislative environment for the development of the private sector.

Its objectives is also to include creating a decent work environment for employees in a way that contributes to achieving the ministry’s objectives and the labor market strategy in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

With regard to the procedures of “self-evaluation” of the performance of establishments, the ministry stated that there are large numbers of mega, large and medium enterprises that have committed themselves to abide by the procedures of self-evaluation of their performance.

The ministry also aims to ensure the safety of applying the Labor Law regulations in these establishments, and help these firms to identify the extent of their commitment to the ministry’s decisions and regulations.

With regard to penalties, the ministry indicated that several violations were monitored by the ministry’s inspection teams on the part of a number of establishments, which failed to adhere to their self-evaluation procedures.

Before carrying out the field visits, the ministry is keen, on its part, to maintain continuous communication with the establishments, making them aware of the need to comply with its decisions and regulations to create an attractive and stimulating work environment.

The ministry had decided to approve a program of “self-evaluation” for large and medium enterprises, which includes obliging these establishments to have their registration in the electronic portal for self-evaluation.

Under the program, these establishments are committed to performing this evaluation on an annual basis in the beginning of each calendar year.

The ministry’s decision also includes suspending its electronic services for establishments that do not comply with performing the evaluation in the specified period of time.

The program aims to ensure the integrity of these firms’ systems and their compliance through an integrated cycle that begins with self-evaluation of the firm and working to correct their anomalies before raids by the ministry’s inspectors, who would have an important role in helping the establishments identify their compliance with regulations and correct their errors.

The proposed amendments in the Labor Law also stipulate that the ministry will inspect private firms and impose penalties in the event of detection of any violations, contrary to the previous procedure, which is to investigate violations by its inspectors and then refer them to the Ministry of Interior to take punitive measures.

According to the proposed amendments, the employer shall bear the fees for the recruitment of a non-Saudi worker, as well as the fee for his residency permit (iqama), the work permit and their renewal, and any other fees approved by the state in order to renew the work permit and the consequences of delaying that in terms of fines and fees for changing the profession, and the ticket for the worker’s return to his home country after the end of the contractual relationship between the two parties.

The amendments also stipulate that the employer no longer needs to pay the exit and reentry visa fee and it shall be met by the employee.



Copyright: Saudi Gazette, Sha’ban, Published: March 22, 2021

Image: CTTO