Sunday, September 6, 2015

When can an Employee ask for Leave from employer in Saudi Arabia?

We have noticed that many employees especially contracting companies, recruitment agencies and manpower supply companies do not allow their employees to go on vacation every year. We have already explained in detail the entitlement of employees living in Saudi Arabia regarding leaves. Every employee working in Saudi Arabia is entitled to AnnualLeave, Sick Leave, Leaves in case of death of relatives, hajj leaves, marriage leave, maternity leave, child birth, Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Adha and an off day on National Day. We refer you to this link for more details “Entitled Leaves for Employees as per Saudi Labor Law”.

The focus of today’s post is to create awareness among employees working in Saudi Arabia for their right to ask for leave. When can an Employee ask for Leave from his employer in Saudi Arabia? Every employee is entitled to 21 days annual leave if he has not completed 5 years and 30 days annual leave if he has completed 5 years with the same employer as per Article 109 of Saudi Labor Law. Many employers don’t let their employees go on vacation every year. They ask them to go for vacation after every 2 years for 60 days or after every 3 years for 90 days. What is the right of employees in this regard? Article 110 of Saudi Labor Law explains this very well.

As a general rule of law, employee should take his annual leave within the same year it is due. For example, if an employee is entitled to 30 days annual leave during the year 2015; he should take it within 2015. Article 109 (2) of Saudi Labor Law

There is an exception to this rule. Employee has the right to defer or postpone his annual leave with the permission of the employer to the next year. It means, if employee requests and employer agrees, they can defer the leave of 2015 to the next year 2016. In this way, employee will be able to take 60 days leave during the year 2016. If employer does not agree to defer the leave and ask employee to take it within the year, employee will have to take it. Article 110 (1) of Saudi Labor Law

There is another scenario if employee wants to take his annual leave after completing 11 months (in case his is entitled to 30 days annual leave) or 11 months and 9 days (in case he is entitled to 21 days annual leave), employer has a right to postpone or defer his leave to the maximum period of 3 months. If employee wants to go on vacation but employer is not sending him on vacation, he is violating Saudi Labor Law. In this way, all those employers who don’t let their employees go on annual leave every year are in contradiction of the Saudi Labor Law. Article 110 (2) of Saudi Labor Law

The rule discussed in above point will not be applied if employee and employer both agree to defer the annual leave to a definite period of time. Employers, who are culprits of violating Article 110 of Saudi Labor Law, normally take signatures from employees that they don’t have an issue in postponing or deferring their annual leave. But they will have to get it signed by employees every year. If you have not signed a letter like this, you can ask for your rights.

It is important to mention here that Saudi Labor Law discusses about Annual Leave in Article 110. It does not necessarily mean that you are entitled to air ticket to your home country every year. We have explained it in detail in this link “Right of Air Ticket as per Saudi Labor Law

Job Continuation under Saudi Labor Law
  1. Rights of Expatriates in Saudi Arabia
  2. Rules regarding Emergency Leave in Saudi Arabia
  3. Leave Encashment under Saudi Labor Law
  4. Working Hours and Overtime in Saudi Arabia
  5. Fixed Term and Indefinite Contract


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