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Fine for Saudis who don't pay domestic workers on time
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 06 - 2014


Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH – The Ministry of Labor will impose a fine of up to SR5,000 on employers who do not pay domestic workers their wages on time.
A Labor Ministry official said the new measures will go into effect within 60 days and are aimed at protecting the employment rights of foreign workers.
The new measures also require Saudi employers to give domestic workers at least nine hours of rest time daily and at least one full day off a week, unless otherwise a different arrangement is mutually agreed in a written contract.
Ibrahim Al-Sheddi, of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, told Al Arabiya Net that “the new measures are part of a series of regulations that the commission has followed up with the concerned authorities.”
He said the commission is assisting the Ministry of Labor to develop a system that ensures the rights of workers and employees alike.
“There hasn't been a [clear] national system for labor. There have been contracts that differ from one recruitment office to another and now all contracts must follow this new system, which is an umbrella for all types of domestic labor.”
Meanwhile, a Labor Ministry official said that an electronic system that will facilitate the recruitment of foreign labor would be launched in a few weeks. The electronic system is expected to resolve a series of problems currently facing the labor market.
The Ministry of Labor bylaw, based on the regulations approved by the Council of Ministers on July 15, 2013, is expected to bring about dramatic positive developments in the Kingdom's domestic help sector, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
It clearly defines all the aspects pertaining to the relationship between domestic helpers and their sponsors.
The bylaw stipulates punishments for violating employer or domestic helpers. In case of any violation of the law, the employer faces one year recruitment ban or SR2,000 in fine or both.
In case of repetition, the fine will be increased up to SR5,000 plus a three-year recruitment ban. For a third time violation, permanent recruitment ban will be imposed.
In case of any violation on the part of the worker, a fine of SR2,000 will be imposed on him besides a ban on his working in the Kingdom.
The worker shall also bear the cost of final exit trip. If the worker does not have money, the government will bear the travel expense.
Domestic helpers would have a probation period of not more than three months.
The employer can terminate the contract if the worker is found unfit for the work within this period and it is not permissible to renew this period except when the two parties agree for a different job.
The employer has no right to compel domestic helpers to do work that does not come under the purview of the labor contract.
The bylaw stipulates that domestic helpers must respect Islam and its teachings, and obey the orders of the employers and their family members. A domestic helper does not have the right to reject a work, or leave a job, without valid reason.
Employers have to pay the agreed monthly salary without delay, and give workers a weekly day off besides sick leave for a maximum one month in a year. They shall be granted at least nine hours of rest each day and a one-month paid vacation after two years of work as well as end of service benefits equaling one month salary after four years of service.


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