The English version of this document is for guidance only.
Protection and Social Services
Every employer shall take the necessary precautions for the protection of workmen from hazards and diseases resulting from the work and the machinery used, and for the protection and safety of the work. The employer may not charge the workmen or withhold from their wages any amount in return for providing such protection.
Every employer shall observe the following rules:
If the work exposes any person working on it to a physical injury, poisoning or disease, the Minister of Labor may issue decisions to determine such work and the measures that the employer must take to protect the workmen. The employer or whoever may be acting on his behalf shall inform the workman upon his employment of the hazards of his occupation and of the precautionary measures which he must take.
The employer must always and continuously enclose, within suitable protective guards all moving parts of power generators and transmission gears, as well as the dangerous parts of machines, whether they are stationary or mobile, unless these parts are so designed or installed as to provide full protection. He must also fence the manholes and all obstructions that may expose workmen to the danger of falling or collision.
The employer shall be responsible for incidents and accidents which may cause injury to persons other than his workmen, who enter the places of work by virtue of their official duties or wit the consent of the employer or his agents, if such injury is due to his having neglected to take the technical precautions which the nature of his work requires, and he shall compensate tem for the damage they may suffer, in accordance with general regulations.
Every employer shall take the necessary precautions against fire and shall provide the technical means to combat it, including safety exits which he shall maintain in a serviceable condition at all times.
The employer shall provide first-aid services for the workmen in accordance with the standards to be determined by the Minister of Labor in collaboration with the Minister of Health. If the number of his workmen in a single location or town, or within a radius of fifteen kilometers, exceeds fifty, he shall employ a nurse who shall be familiar with first-aid services and shall be exclusively assigned to rendering such services; the employer shall assign a physician to examine and treat the workmen at the place to be provided by the employer for this purpose and the employer shall provide them with the medicines necessary for their treatment. The aforementioned services shall be free of charge whether during working hours or otherwise. If in the cases mentioned above, the number of workmen exceeds a hundred, the employer shall, in addition, provide them with all other means of treatment in cases requiring treatment by specialists or performance of surgical or other operations.
In case operations are performed as well as in cases of incurable diseases, the expenses shall be taken from the Social Insurance Fund. The costs of treatment, medicines and hospitalization in government or charitable hospitals as well as the party who will assume such costs, shall be determined pursuant to the decision to be made by the Minister of Labor in agreement with the Minister of Health, or to the rules laid down in the Social Insurance law.
However, if the number of workmen is less than fifty, the employer must provide the workmen with a medical aid cabinet which shall be maintained in a good condition and shall contain the bandages medicines, and antiseptics to be determined by the Minister of Labor in agreement with the Minister of Health, in order to provide the workmen with first aid.
Every employer who employs more than fifty workmen shall inform the appropriate Labor Office of the name of the physician whom he has selected to treat his workmen. In case he employs more than a hundred workmen, he shall inform the Office of the names of the physicians and specialists whom he has selected to treat his workmen, and of the names of the hospitals which he has designated for that purpose. In both cases, he must notify the appropriate Labor Office of the minimum number of days fixed for the examination of workmen, provided that this minimum shall nor be less than three times a week.
Every employer shall prepare for each workman a medical file showing the result of the medical examination performed on the workman upon his employment, a description of the cases of his illness, the stages of his treatment, and the periods of his absence from work, provided that mention shall be made in the file of the kinds of ordinary and occupational diseases and labor injuries.
The employer who employs fifty workmen or more must set up for his workmen a savings and thrift plan to be approved by the Ministry of Labor, provided that the workman's participation in such a plan shall be voluntary. He shall provide them at his expense with suitable rest and recreational facilities in accordance with the specifications to be determined by the Minister of Labor.
If he employs five hundred or more workmen, the Minister of Labor, after taking into consideration the nature and conditions of the work areas and the number of the workmen therein, may decide that the employer shall carry out at his expense all or part of the following:
Concessionary companies which entrust to contractors the execution of some of their works, such as construction, maintenance, otherwise, shall stipulate in the contract that the contractor shall satisfy all the rights and assume all the obligations which would accrue to the workmen if the concessionary company itself performed such works.
The workmen of the contractors working for concessionary companies shall be subject to the same basic work rules applicable to the workmen of such companies, and shall benefit from all grants, compensations and wage rates in force in such companies.
Concessionary companies shall assume legal liability toward the workmen of their contractors in application of the provisions of the two preceding articles, and they may, in return, withhold from the price of the works entrusted to their contractors such amounts as would guarantee such liability until the expiration of the contract.
In all contracts where the contractors fail to apply the provisions of the preceding articles, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs shall have the right to cancel such contracts by a decision based on a report submitted by the Chief Labor Inspector in the Ministry following a special investigation he shall conduct.
Every employer shall provide means of transportation to carry his workmen from their places of residence or from a given point of assembly to the places of work and to return them daily, if the places of work are reached by ordinary, regular means of transportation.
With regard to workmen who perform work in places far removed from inhabited areas, which shall be determined by a decision of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, and especially those working in mines, quarries and centers of oil exploration, extraction or exploitation, the employer shall be obligated to:
Every employer employing fifty or more workwomen shall provide a suitable place entrusted to a female nurse qualified to care for the workwomen's children who are under six years of age.
Creation of New Establishments
Any person who wants to construct buildings to be used in a new project, to add any annexes to an existing mechanically-operated project, to increase the mechanical power used in running the project, or to convert existing buildings into a mechanically-operated project, he shall, where he employs at least twenty workmen; submit an application to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Industrial Research Center) for the necessary license, to which shall be attached the following:
In addition to the foregoing he shall submit any other information that will clarify the nature of the work to be carried out in the building: as will be requested by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The maps of the buildings and site must contain derails on the locations and dimensions of all doors, windows, ventilation facilities, stairs, fire escapes and other sanitary facilities. When the said Ministry is satisfied that the buildings, additions or extensions conform to this Law and to the rules issued hereunder, it shall give its final approval to the issuance of the license, if the municipalities have no direct concern in the matter. When necessary, the said Ministry may seek the opinion of the Ministry of Health with regard to the health aspect.
If the Labor Office finds that any building or any part thereof, or any part of the roads, machines, or equipment in any establishment is in such condition as to constitute a danger to human life or safety, it may after consulting the Ministry mentioned in the previous article, issue to the manager of the establishment a written order requesting him to make the necessary repairs within a specified period and to submit a technical report showing that he has made such repairs on rime. The Labor Office may, in its written order, specify the protective measures deemed necessary to prevent any danger, and it may prohibit the use of the machine or building which constitutes the source of danger until it is repaired or replaced.
The manager of the establishment may, within thirty days from the date of his notification, appeal to the Minister of Labor who shall, after consulting with the Minister of Commerce and Industry, uphold, modify, or cancel the order. Lodging the appeal shall not entail the suspension of the protective measures ordered by the Labor Office, nor shall it entail a stay of execution of the appealed order, unless the Minister of Labor decides otherwise.
Working hours - Weekly Rest Vacations
A workman shall not be employed for more than eight actual working hours in any one day, or forty-eight hours a week, in all months of the year, with the exception of the month of Ramadan when actual working hours shall not exceed six hours a day or thirty-six hours a week, exclusive of the intervals reserved for prayer, rest and meals. The number of working hours may be raised to nine hours a day in respect of certain categories of workmen or in certain industries and operations where the Workmen does not work continuously, such as seasonal establishments, hotels, snack bars, restaurants and the like. The number of daily working hours may be reduced for certain categories of workmen or in certain industries or operations of a hazardous or harmful nature. The categories of workmen, industries and operations referred to in this article shall be determined by decision of the Minister of Labor.
Working hours shall be scheduled that no workman shall work more than five consecutive hours without an interval of rest, prayer and meals which shall not be less than half an hour each time, or one and a half hours during the total working hours, and that the workman shall not remain in the place of work more than eleven hours in any one day. In the case of factories where work is performed in successive shifts day and night, the Minister shall by decision, regulate the manner for granting workmen time intervals for rest, prayer and meals.
Friday, which the day observed as an official holiday, shall be a day of rest with full pay. The employer may, however, with the approval of the appropriate Labor Office, replace this day for some of his workmen by any other day of the week, provided that the number of working days per week shall not exceed six, and that the workmen shall in all cases be enabled to perform their religious duties.
The employer shall not be required to adhere to the provisions of Articles 147, 148 and 149 of this Law in the following cases:
In all the foregoing cases, the number of actual working hours shall not exceed ten hours a day.
The employer shall pay the workman for additional work hours an additional wage equivalent to the workman's normal wage plus fifty percent (50%). Where the work is performed on the weekly day of rest or on feast days or official holidays, the employer shall pay the workman additional wages for the regular or additional work hours.
The provisions of Articles 147 and 148 shall not apply to the following cases:
The operations referred to in Paragraphs (A), (B) and (C) of this article and the maximum number of working hours in such operations shall be determined by decision of the Minister of Labor. In the operations referred to in Parapraph (D), the total number of actual working hours shall not exceed 48 hours a week.
The workman who has completed one year in the service of the employer shall be entitled to an annual vacation of fifteen days with full wages payable in advance. This vacation shall be increased to 21 days when the workman completes ten continuous years in the service of the employer. The workman may, with the employees consent, defer his annual vacation or a number of days thereof to the next following year. The workman may not forego his annual vacation.
The employer shall have the right to choose the dates of such vacations according to work requirements, or to grant the vacations on a rotational basis to ensure the proper conduct of his business.
If the workman leaves the work, he shall be entitled to receive pay for unused vacation days due in respect of the period for which he has not taken his vacation. He shall be entitled to vacation pay for fractions of the year, in proportion to that part of the year which he has spent at work.
Each workman shall be entitled to days-off with full pay on the holidays designated by a decision to be issued by the Minister of Labor, provided that such holidays shall not exceed ten days a year.
The workman may obtain leave without pay for not more than 10 days a year, subject to the employer's approval.
The workman shall not, while enjoying the vacations or leaves provided for in this Chapter, work for another employer. Where the employer proves that the workman has violated this provision, he may deprive him of his wages for the vacation period or recover any vacation pay he may have paid to such workman.
An employer who employs twenty workmen or more shall, in case a workman's illness is confirmed by a medical certificate issued by a competent physician accredited by the employer, `r where the employer has no accredited physician, by a physician designated by the appropriate Government agency, grant the workman sick leave with full pay for the first thirty days and with three-quarter pay for the next 60 days in any one year.
The workman shall be entitled to a three-day leave for his marriage and to a one-day leave with full pay in each of the following two cases:
The employer shall have the right to require the workman to furnish documents in confirmation of the above cases.
Employment of Juveniles and Women
1. Common Rules
Adolescents, juveniles and women may not be employed in hazardous operations or harmful industries, such as power-operated machinery, mines, quarries and the like. The Minister of Labor shall, by decision, designate the occupations and operations tat are regarded as harmful to health, or are apt to expose women, juveniles and adolescents to given hazards requiring tat their employment in such occupations or operations be prohibited or restricted by special conditions, in no case may men and women commingle in the place of work or in the accessory facilities or other appurtenances thereto.
Adolescents, juveniles and women may not be employed during the night time which covers an interval of at least eleven hours between sunset and sunrise, except in the cases to be determined by decision of the Minister of Labor in respect of non-industrial occupations and in cases of force majeure.
Juveniles and adolescents may not be employed for a period exceeding six hours a day, and the exceptions provided for in Articles 150 and 152 of this Law shall not apply to them.
2. Employment of Juveniles
A juvenile who has not completed thirteen years of age shall not be employed, nor shall he be allowed to enter places of work. The Minister of Labor may, by decision, raise this age limit in certain industries or areas. Before employing a juvenile, the employer shall secure from him the following documents and shall keep them in the juvenile's personal file:
The employer shall, within the first week following the employment of every juvenile, notify the appropriate Labor Office of such employment and shall keep at the place of work a special register for juvenile workmen in which he shall indicate the name of the juvenile, his age, the full name of his guardian, his place of residence and the date of his employment, in addition to the general register provided for in article 10 of this Law.
3. Employment of Women
The workwoman shall be entitled to take as maternity leave the four weeks immediately preceding the expected date of delivery and six weeks following that date. The probable date of delivery shall be determined by the physician of the establishment or by a medical certificate approved by the Ministry of Health. No employer may employ any woman during the six weeks immediately following her delivery.
During her absence on maternity leave, the workwoman shall been titled to half pay if she has been in the employer's service for one year or more, and to full pay if she has been in the employer's service for three years or more, as of the date of commencement of such leave.
A workwoman shall not be paid any wages during her regular annual vacation to which she is entitled under the provision of these Regulations, if she had availed herself in the same year of a maternity leave with full pay, and she shall be paid half-wages during the annual leave, if she had availed herself in the same year of a maternity leave with half-pay.
When the workwoman returns to work following her maternity leave, she shall be entitled to a period or periods of rest totaling not more than one hour daily for the purpose of feeding her newborn child, in addition to the rest periods granted to all workers.
The expenses of medical examination and the costs of treatment and delivery shall be borne by the employer.
The employer shall not terminate the workwoman while she is on pregnancy and delivery leave.
The employer shall not terminate the workwoman during her illness resulting from work or delivery, provided that such Illness shall be confirmed by an approved medical certificate, and that the period of her absence shall not exceed six months. Nor shall she be terminated, without any of the legitimate causes provided for in this Law, during the six months preceding the expected date of delivery. Where a workwoman is terminated in breach of the provisions of this article, the appropriate Commission shall order her reinstatement
The workwoman shall forfeit her entitlements under the provisions of this Chapter if it is established that she has worked for another employing her authorized leave. In such event, the original employer may deprive her of pay for such leave or recover any wages he had paid to her.
By way of exception, the provisions prohibiting or restricting the employment of adolescents, juveniles and women shall not apply to charitable or official institutions of vocational or professional training character, provided that the bylaws of such institutions shall specify the nature of the trades and crafts involved, the working hours and terms of employment, and the suitability of the work to the workwomen's physical capabilities, and that the Ministry approves the bylaws in question after consulting the Ministry of Health.
In all places and in all occupations where women are employed, they shall be provided with seats to assure their comfort.
On Labor Commissions and Settlement of Disputes
The Labor and Settlement of Disputes Commissions shall be as follows:
There shall be constituted by decision of the Council of Ministers, based on the recommendation of the Minister of Labor, at every main and branch Labor Office in the Kingdom a Primary Commission for Settlement of Disputes composed of three members experienced legal matters. The chairman shall be a holder of a degree in Shari'ah, and at least one of the other two members shall be a holder of a degree in Shari'ah or in Law. The said decision shall name the chairman from among these members.
The Primary Commission for Settlement of Disputes shall have exclusive jurisdiction to:
First: Render final decisions on
Second: Render decisions of first instance on
There shall be constituted by decision of the Council of Ministers a commission to be called " The Supreme Commission for Settlement of Disputes ", which shall consist of five members, three representing the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, one representing the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and one representing the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. One of the members, whose grade shall not be below Grade II, shall be designated as Chairman in the same decision of the Council of Ministers. The chairman and members of the Supreme Commission shall be impartial and experienced in legal matters.
The Supreme Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction to render final and definitive decisions in all disputes referred to it on appeal and shall likewise be competent to impose upon the violators of the provisions of this Law the penalties prescribed herein.
The Council of Ministers shall issue the rules of procedure and of conciliation and amicable settlement proceedings before the Primary Commissions and the Supreme Commission.
The Minister of Labor shall issue a decision setting up an Office for each of these Commissions and indicating the number of clerks, attendants, employees and administrative personnel assigned for such functions.
The Supreme Commission and the Primary Commissions shall render their decisions by a majority vote of their members. These decisions shall be grounded and signed by all members, and the dissenting member may record therein the reason for his dissent.
Each of these Commissions shall save exclusive right to examine all disputes relating to labor contracts, and may summon any person for interrogation or assign one of its members to conduct such interrogation. It may also require the presentation of documents or evidence and adopt any other measure it may deem fit. The Commission shall also have the right of access to any premises occupied by the establishment, for the purpose of conducting the required investigation in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
Suits shall be filed with the Primary Commission in whose locality or within whose circumscription the place of work lies, and the Commission shall render its ruling within the period and in accordance with the procedures referred to in Article 177. If either party to the dispute wishes to appeal the decision rendered by the Primary Commission, that party shall submit the application of appeal to the Supreme Commission within thirty days of its being served with a copy of the decision to be appealed.
The Chairman of the Supreme Commission shall set a date for hearing the case appealed before him within fifteen days of the registration of the appeal petition with the Commission's Office The Commission shall render its decision on the dispute appealed before it promptly and within thirty days from the date of the first hearing.
If the decision of the Primary Commission is not appealed within the period specified in Article 180, the decision shall become final and enforceable. All decisions of the Supreme Commission shall be deemed enforceable immediately upon the parties concerned being notified thereof, and an amicable settlement shall be binding upon both parties once it is registered with one of the appropriate Commissions.
In all cases, the parties to a dispute may by mutual agreement appoint one arbitrator for both of them, or one or more arbitrators for each party so that the arbitrator or arbitrators may settle the dispute in lieu of the Commissions provided for in this chapter.
Where the arbitrators fail to select an umpire, the chairman of the Primary Commission in whose circumscription the place of work is located shall appoint the said umpire, if such an umpire has not already been appointed in the arbitration agreement. The arbitration agreement shall indicate the time-limits and the rules of procedure to be followed in order to settle the dispute. The arbitrators', award shall be of first instance and appeal able before the Supreme Commission within the time-limits, time-extensions and the rules of procedure prescribed for the appeal of decisions before the said Commission, unless the arbitration agreement expressly provides that the arbitrators' award shall be definitive in which case such award shall be irrevocable.
A copy of the arbitration agreement shall be deposited with the Office of the appropriate Primary commission in the area, and the arbitrators, award shall be registered with the Office of the said Commission within one week of its rendering.
The arbitrators' awards shall be executed after registration with the Office of the appropriate Primary Commission, and after due endorsement for execution by the chairman of the Commission.
None of the commissions provided for in this chapter may abstain from rendering a decision on the pretext that there are no applicable provisions in this Law. In such a case, the commissions shall be guided by the principles of Islamic Shari'ah, local rules, established judicial precedents, principles of justice, usage and the rules of equity.
Neither party to a dispute may raise again the issue in respect of which a definitive decision has been rendered by one of the commissions provided for in this Chapter.
In the course of conciliation and arbitration proceedings before any of the commissions provided for in this Chapter, the employer may not so change the terms of employment which were in force before the commencement of such proceedings as to cause prejudice to the workman, nor may the employer dismiss or penalize any workman without written permission to do so from the appropriate Commission.
If a Primary Commission has not been constituted in a given area, the Minister may, when necessary, assign to another Commission constituted in the nearest area the duties and exclusive functions of the unconstituted commission. Where a branch labor office and a main labor office are in the same area, a single Primary Commission shall be constituted for that area.
(a) Any person who conspires with a group of persons for the purpose of stopping:
(b) The same penalty shall apply to the concessionaire of any of the said utilities, if he stops its operation without legitimate cause.
(c) Where the crime is accompanied by acts of violence against persons or property or by threats or other means of intimidation, or by forms of deceit or false pretence that are apt to influence the mind, or by gathering on public roads and in public squares, or by occupying the place of work, the offenders shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of six months to two years or a fine of SR 1,000 to SR 5,000 or both.
Any person who, using any of the means mentioned in the last paragraph of the previous article, causes or attempts to cause others to stop their work by agreement among themselves, or encourages or attempts to encourage them to stop such work, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of one year to three years or a fine of SR 5,000 to SR 10,000, or both.
Where an employer, head of an enterprise, employee or workman stops work with the object of exerting pressure on public authorities or of protesting against a decision or measure adopted by such authorities instead of having recourse to legitimate means, each such offender shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of two to six years or a fine of SR 4,000 to SR 10,000, or both.
Without prejudice to any penalties prescribed under other regulations against anyone who prevents a public official from discharging the duties of his office, whoever violates the provisions of Article 26 of this Law shall be punished with a fine of SR 100 to SR 1,000, which shall be doubled in case the offense is repeated.
Whoever violates the provisions of Article 41 of this Law shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000.
Whoever violates the provisions of Article 44 of this Law shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000.
Whoever violates the provisions of Article 45 of this Law shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000.
Whoever violates the rules prescribed for bringing foreigners into the country for the purpose of work, as set out in Article 49 of this Law, shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000 for each workman.
Whoever violates the provisions governing the vocational training of Saudis for the purpose of replacing foreign workmen, as set out in Article 50 of this Law, shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 100 and not more than SR 500 for each workman.
Whoever violates the provisions of Chapter V of this Law or of the decisions issued in accordance therewith, shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000.
Whoever violates the provisions governing wages, as set out in Article 116 of this Law, shall be punished with a fine of SR 200. The offender shall be required to pay the difference in wages, and the fine shall be multiplied by the number of individuals involved.
The employer and every person responsible for the payment of the workmen's wages shall, if he violates any of the provisions of Chapter VI, be punished with a fine of SR 200 for each workman.
The employer or the responsible manger of the establishment shall be punished for any violation of the provisions of chapter VIII or any rules, decisions or orders issued in accordance therewith, with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000 for each violation.
Whoever violates the provisions of Chapter VIII shall be punished with a fine of SR 1,000, in addition to the total or partial closure of the establishment, or the suspension of new constructions. The appropriate Labor Office may seek the assistance of the competent administrative authorities to enforce the closure or suspension.
The employer or the responsible manager of the establishment shall be punished for any violation of Chapter IX or any rules,, decision or orders issued in accordance therewith, with a fine of not less than SR500 and not more than SR 1,000 for each violation.
If the employer violates any of the provisions of Chapter X, he shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR 1,000, and shall be ordered to pay compensation for the damage resulting from his violation of the provisions of that Chapter.
Any employer or head of an enterprise and any workman or employee who refuses or delays the implementation of the arbitration award or any other definitive decision rendered by any of the commissions provided for in Chapter XI of this law, shall be liable to double the penalties imposed upon him, if any, or shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 500 and not more than SR1,000, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or with either of these two penalties.
With due regard to the provisions of Article 78 of this Law, the workman who refuses, in cases of necessity, to work elsewhere than in his original place of residence, or to perform work other than that for which he was contracted, shall be punished with a fine not exceeding SR 100.
For whatever violation of any of the provisions of this Law, or of the rules, decisions and orders issued in accordance therewith, where no specific penalty has been prescribed, the employer or the responsible manager of the establishment shall be punished with a fine of not less than SR 100 and not more than SR 500. The penalties provided for in this Law shall be applied unless penalties more severe are prescribed in other laws and regulations.
All fines imposed for violation of the provisions of this law shall revert to the Workmen's Social Insurance Fund in a special account to be spent on projects designed to raise the standard of work and workmen in the Kingdom, as shall be determined by the Minister of Labor.
The grade or the salary of a workman shall not be lowered except in such cases as are provided for in this Law or in the decisions issued in accordance therewith.
The Minister of Labor shall issue the decisions and rules necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Law, except where another authority has been designated for this purpose.
The Labor and Workman Regulations issued on 25 Dhu al-Qa'dah 1366 (10 October 1947 ), as well as regulations, orders, and decisions in effect prior to the coming into force of this Law, are hereby repealed in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions hereof.
This Law shall be put into effect as of the date of its publication in the official gazette.