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Can An Employee In Saudi Arabia Be Sent On Unpaid Leave?

Jawazat & MOICan An Employee In Saudi Arabia Be Sent On Unpaid Leave?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has clarified that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Labor Law does not allow sending employees on unpaid leave without their consent.

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Alternatives to leave without pay in special circumstances

Under exceptional circumstances like Covid, firms should follow alternative methods to enable their employees to conduct their official work, including remote work. The Ministry had published the necessary guidelines on its website.”

The Ministry said in a statement reported by the Saudi Press Agency.

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The Ministry clarified the point in response to inquiries the Ministry had received on whether some private firms granting their employees unpaid leave without their consent is compatible with the Labor Law regulations.

The Ministry affirmed that the labor contracts are binding on both the employer and the employee. Adding that the temporary extraordinary circumstances have nothing to do with it.

The Ministry urges all private firms to cooperate and abide by the statutory provisions.

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In case of a complaint

“Any complaints about violations of labor rules can be intimated to the ministry. Through its App “Ma3an lil Rasd” on smart phones or calling on the number 19911,” the statement added.

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Employee Requested Leave Without Pay

Article 116 of the Saudi labor Law permits employees (workers) to ‘leave without pay’. But only with the consent and approval of the employer.

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An employment contract will be considered suspended if the unpaid leave period exceeds 20 days unless approved by the employer, per Article 116 of the Saudi Arabia Labor Law.