Labour regulations

Employees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia work an average of 8 hours a day, 5.5 days a week. After taking into account annual leave and public holidays, they work 282 days a year. During Ramadan, the month of fasting, working hours are generally reduced.


Saudi Arabia's principal statute governing employer-employee relationships is the Labour Law M/51 of September 2005, which revised aspects of the previous labour law of November 1969.


The Ministry of Labor is responsible for granting work and residence permits to non-Saudis. Applicants must obtain an entry visa from their own country's Saudi embassy beforehand.


Under Saudi Arabia's sponsorship system, expatriate employees can enter, work in, and leave Saudi Arabia only with the permission or assistance of their sponsoring employers.

The Government introduced a 'Saudization' policy in 1996, aimed at encouraging private-sector employers to recruit more Saudi nationals. The Ministry of Labor decides the minimum percentage of Saudi employees on a case by case basis, initially on the licensing of a new business and then periodically.

It is the employer's responsibility to organize healthcare for Saudi and non-Saudi workers.

There is no minimum wage in Saudi Arabia, and there is no right to strike.

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