The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) extends over 2,149,690 square kms across most of the northern and central Arabian Peninsula. It is the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil. Petroleum is an integral part of the country’s economy, although in recent decades it has increasingly diversified its economy to produce and export a variety of industrial goods. Expatriates are estimated to account for 75% of Saudi Arabia’s workforce.
*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Riyal (SR, SAR, ر.س ,﷼)
Languages spoken :
35.34 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
SR 4,000 per month
Cost of Living index :
$$$ (53 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
3.2% (2021 est.)
Employees are entitled to 10 public holidays per year. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, a day in lieu is granted either on a day preceding or following the weekend.
The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2023.
*These holidays are determined according to local sightings of various phases of the moon, so the dates given above are only approximations. The exact dates are to be determined by the government and specified as it gets closer to the holiday.
The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Saudi Arabia is 14 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.
NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.
Working hours cannot exceed eight hours per day or 48 hours per week. The worker cannot work for more than five consecutive hours without a period of rest, prayer, and food for at least half an hour, and the worker must not remain in the workplace for more than 12 hours per day.
The actual working hours must not exceed 10 hours per day or 60 hours per week. Work on holidays is paid at 150% of the employees’ normal wages.
The probation period cannot exceed 90 days and may be extended for a maximum of 180 days with the written consent of the worker.
The fixed-term contract of employment must terminate at the end of its term. If the contract is indefinite, either party must notify the other party by a written notice of at least 60 days if the worker’s wage is paid monthly, or 30 days for all other cases. A party that terminates a contract without giving due notice is liable to pay cash in lieu of notice.
An employee is entitled to a paid annual leave of not less than 21 days. The duration of the leave is increased to a period of not less than 30 days after five years of continuous service with the employer.
An employee is entitled to a maximum of 120 days of sick leave during a single year, provided that they submit a medical certificate as proof of their illness. The sick leave can be either continuous or intermittent.
The leave is paid by the employer as follows:
|Period of Proven Sick Leave||Sick Pay|
|Up to 30 days||100%|
|31 to 90 days||75%|
|91 to 120 days||0%|
The worker has the right to leave with full pay for a period of three days in the event of the birth of a child.
The working woman is entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 10 weeks, distributed as she wishes. The leave can begin at a maximum of four weeks before the likely date of childbirth, determined by an authenticated medical certificate from a health institution.
There is no specific law that says “paternity leave”, but fathers can take a fully paid “parental leave” for up to three days.
The worker has the right to leave with full pay for a period of five days upon his marriage.
Employees are entitled to a leave of five days with full pay upon the death of their spouse or one of their ascendants or descendants.
Employees are entitled to a paid leave of not less than 10 days and not more than 15 days, including the Eid Al-Adha holiday, to perform Hajj only once during their service if they have not performed it before.
The worker may, with the consent of the employer, obtain leave without pay for a duration agreed upon by both parties. The work contract is considered suspended for any leave over 20 days unless the two parties agree otherwise.
The social security system in Saudi Arabia includes social insurance, occupational hazard, and unemployment insurance.
Employers contribute a total of 12% to Saudi nationals’ social security and 2% to non-Saudi nationals’ social security. The breakdown of the total contributions is as follows:
|Saudi nationals||Social Insurance||9%||9%|
|non-Saudi nationals||Occupational Hazard||2%||–|
The employer is required to obtain a health insurance policy from an insurance company to cover all employees and their dependents. The premiums employers must pay differ per insurance company.
Employers must contribute 2% to occupational hazard insurance for both Saudi employees and non-Saudi employees. This rate of contribution may be increased to double the amount for employers who refuse to abide by the instructions issued by the competent authorities in regard to the safety and health of workers.
Unemployment insurance is only compulsory for Saudi employees less than 59 years old. Both the employer and employee contribute 1% to the unemployment insurance, respectively.
Employers contribute 9% and withhold 9% of employees’ contribution to retirement through social insurance. The contribution is only compulsory for Saudi nationals. The retirement age is 60 years old for male workers and 55 years old for female workers unless both parties agree to continue working after this age.
The following statutory benefits are funded by social insurance and paid by social security.
In the event of the death of a contributor in insurable employment, the employee’s family members are entitled to survivor’s pensions if the deceased contributor has paid a period of the contribution of not less than three consecutive months or six non-consecutive months immediately following the date of their actual registration with the Organization
A lump sum of three months of the survivor pension is split equally among eligible survivors, capped at SR 10,000.
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