Saudi Arabia introduces revised regulations for domestic worker contracts

The recent declaration by Saudi Arabia of new rules concerning the contracts and employment status of domestic workers represents a major shift in the labor market of the nation.

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These regulations, which are being led by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, are meant to offer structure and clarity when it comes to ending the contracts of domestic workers, especially where there has been an extended period of unpaid leave.

The Ministry's initiative demonstrates its dedication to promoting equitable and transparent partnerships between employers and domestic workers while respecting the rights and obligations of each side. Saudi Arabia hopes to guarantee that employers follow established residence and employment requirements, as well as the contractual rights of domestic workers. To that end, it has introduced these restrictions.

The clause pertaining to contract termination for extended absences from work within the first two years of a worker's presence in the Kingdom is a crucial component of the new regulations. In certain situations, employers must end the employment agreement, and the domestic worker must leave the nation within 60 days. In addition to ensuring that both parties are able to make educated decisions about work arrangements, this approach attempts to address circumstances in which an extended absence may damage the relationship between the employer and the employee.

Similarly, for contracts terminated due to work interruptions after more than two years of employment, domestic workers are given a 60-day period to either secure new employment or permanently leave the country. This provision acknowledges the changing dynamics of employment relationships over time and provides flexibility for workers to transition to new opportunities if necessary.

To facilitate a transparent reporting process, the ministry has implemented specific controls for employers reporting work interruptions. Employers have a 15-day window to retract a work interruption report from the date of submission, ensuring that decisions regarding contract termination are made with due diligence and consideration.

These regulations represent a significant step forward in the regulation of domestic work in Saudi Arabia, signaling the government's commitment to promoting fair labor practices and protecting the rights of domestic workers. By establishing clear guidelines for contract termination and residency rules, the Ministry aims to create a more secure and equitable environment for both employers and domestic workers alike.

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