Monday, July 30, 2007

Working hours and leave

An employee working in Saudi Arabia is not supposed to work continuously more than 48 hours a week without a day off. Any hours worked beyond this must be compensated at the rate of 150% of the pay. Generally, Friday is the weekly off (Thursdays and Fridays are the weekly offs for government offices and banks). For people working in shift duty, the weekly off can be on other days, provided that they do not work more than 48 hours a week.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslim employees should not work more than 6 hours a day. Again, where the work deems that they have to work additional hours, Muslim employees have to be compensated with overtime.
A minimum of 4 days at the end of the month of Ramadan and 4 days Hajj holidays are to be given to the employees every year. Also, September 23, which is the Saudi National Day, is a compulsory holiday for both government offices as well as private sector.
As per law, employees are entitled for 21 days vacation after completing the first year of service and 30 days vacation after 5 years of service. However, it is quite common that employees in private sector, particularly in lower levels, to be released on vacation only once in two or three years. Remember that this is a paid vacation, which means that you are supposed to be paid for the duration of the vacation and also the to and fro air tickets to your home country. You have to be careful about this point in the contract, because a few unscrupulous employers may sometimes browbeat the employees into foregoing some of their rights.


sal said...

Hi Chief
Please provide some info i.e. the daily working hours there with the private/intl. companies. I mean start/end/lunch etc. Heard mostly are Thursday half-day only ??

I appreciate your effort..

Expatguru said...


Most private companies have 48 hours working per week. A few private companies work 43 hours only. Weekends are Thursdays and Fridays. Friday is a compulsory off for both private and government companies. Most private companies start at 7.30 am, and lunch time is usually for half an hour between 12.30 to 1 pm. Note that all government offices including banks work only 5 days a week.

Anonymous said...

As per law, employees are entitled for 21 days vacation after completing the first year of service and 30 years vacation after 5 years of service.

30 years vacation!? I want this job! :)

Expatguru said...

Thanks for pointing it out, Anonymous. I have now corrected it. (Wish it really WAS 30 years!) :)