Guide to Saudi Law for Domestic Workers, and 3 Important Updates
As a base that sets the rights and duties for both the employer and the domestic worker, the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia issued THE REGULATION OF DOMESTIC WORKERS AND THE LIKE in Ramadan, 1434 – July, 2013.
The new Saudi labor law for domestic workers was obliged on all employers 6 months later, and since then, it has become necessary for employers to recognize their rights and duties towards their domestic workers, in order to get the most benefits, and avoid violations. Let’s help you through by highlighting the major rights and duties in Saudi labor law.
According to the Saudi labor law for domestic workers, there are 6 major domestic labor rights
- Daily rest hours
The domestic worker should be allowed at least nine hours of daily rest.
- Weekly rest
The domestic worker can be allowed a weekly day off based on the agreement.
- Medical care
The domestic worker should be provided with medical care according to the regulations enforced in the Kingdom.
- Sick leave
The domestic worker shall be entitled to paid sick leave that doesn’t exceed thirty days per year, upon a medical report.
- In the case of renewing the contract
The domestic worker should be entitled to one month’s paid vacation upon the completion of two years of service.
- End of service benefit
The domestic worker shall be entitled to one month’s pay as an end-of-service benefit if he/she worked 4 consecutive years for the same employer.
Last but not least, there must be a written contract between the employer and his worker that describes the agreed upon duties of the domestic worker, mentions all the above rights, the contract duration, salary, weekly days off, and annual leaves.
3 Important updates and new rules for domestic workers
Important Update 1) that took place in June 2022: It’s an update to Saudi Labor Law that gives the domestic worker the right to transfer their services to a new employer without needing permission from the current one, when:
- When the domestic worker’s wage has been withheld for three consecutive months or intermittent months without any legitimate reason related to the domestic worker.
- When the employer fails to pick up the domestic worker from the port of arrival/shelter (up to 15 days from their arrival date).
- When the employer fails to issue/renew a residency permit for the domestic worker (up to 30 days from its expiration date) .
- When the employer shares the services of the domestic worker with other employers.
- When the domestic worker has been abused by the employer or a member of his family.
- When the domestic worker files a complaint against the employer, and the employer delays the process of investigating the allegation.
- When the employer files a false escape report against the domestic worker.
- When the employer or their representative fails to appear before the domestic workers’ dispute settlement committees for two sessions.
- When the employer is absent for a reason or another, failing to pay the domestic worker’s wages.
- When the competent authority recommends, considering the complaint in order to avoid any damages that could happen to the worker.
- Any other individual or general cases decided by the Minister.
Important Update 2) that took place in September 2022: The Wage Protection Program (WPP) requires employers to issue prepaid debit cards for domestic workers upon their arrival in the Kingdom.
What’s the WPP?
The Wages Protection Programme aims to:
- Observe the process of wage payment for all the workers (both Saudis and non-Saudis), to ensure they’re paid correctly, on time, and according to the agreed wage.
- Create a database that allows authorities to track wage differences between nationals and expats, identify illegal workers, and streamline the labor market.
What is the WPS?
The Wages Protection System is an electronic system that aims to unify the payment methods, so that they all take place through bank transfers and financial institutions authorized in Saudi Arabia, in order to ultimately measure the commitment of employers to paying salaries on time and according to the agreed value.
The Wage Protection System (WPS) in Saudi Arabia also aims to facilitate the system and management of salaries to minimize issues interrupting the payment process, reduce violations happening in the labor market, and protect the rights of both employers and domestic workers.
In September 2022, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development urged individual employers to issue prepaid debit cards for male and female domestic workers upon their arrival in the Kingdom.
Mr. Khaled Abalkhail, the spokesman of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said the employer should contact his bank to provide a debit card for his domestic worker, then log into the Musaned portal (www.musaned.com.sa) to create an e-employment contract, define the monthly wage, and receive a copy of the contract after the verification.
Important Update 3) The Philippines Ministry of Labor have reached an agreement on a new contract for domestic workers in Saudi Arabia for 2023, which includes the following conditions:
1- The minimum salary for a Filipino housemaid is 1,500 Saudi Riyals.
2- The housemaid is entitled to one day off per week.
- The housemaid is allowed to keep all legal documents, such as a passport, residence card.
- The housemaid must be provided with a phone to contact their family.
- The housemaid is entitled to a one-month break upon completing two years of service.
- The employer must open a bank account under the housemaid’s name to deposit their salary.
- Working hours shall not exceed 8 continuous hours.
- The housemaid must maintain the privacy of the employer and his family and not disclose any family secrets.
- In the event of a dispute between the domestic worker and the employer, it shall be handled by the authorities in KSA.
While critical new rules for domestic workers are taking place, let’s assist you with five necessary downloads/links that should help you as an individual employer:
- Work Contract: Employer to Employee. Here.
- Request to issue a domestic worker visa electronically. Here.
- Wages Protection System (WPS) Wages Specification. Here.
- How to register for the WPS. Here.
- Rights and Duties of Domestic Workers. Issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development. PDF. Here.
- Regulation of Domestic Workers and & the like. Issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers. PDF. Here.
And if the Saudi labor law for domestic workers causes you any confusion, you can immediately depend on Raha services for providing domestic workers; it’s a shortcut that carries your burdens and lets you enjoy the service of your housemaid in a relief. Download Raha’s app now.
- Labor Education Program for Domestic Workers, Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
- Saudi amends regulations that allow domestic workers to change employers, July 26, 2022, migrant-rights.org
- Wage protection program requires employers to issue prepaid debit cards for domestic workers upon their arrival to Kingdom: MLSD, 21 September 2022 – 25 Safar 1444, Human Resources and Social Development, hrsd.gov.sa.
- Penalties for Violation by the Employer, 15 November 2019 – 18 Rabi’ al-awwal 1441, Human Resources and Social Development, hrsd.gov.sa.
- Disciplinary Penalties, 26 January 2023 – 04 Rajab 1444, Human Resources and Social Development, hrsd.gov.sa.
- Wage Protection System – Saudi Arabia, By Helen Perrin, October 10, 2013, Norton Rose Fulbright.
- Details of the Wage Protection System in KSA, International Labour Organization.
- New Domestic Worker Contract, The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.