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Updated October 2023

Securing employment often involves more than just a handshake and a nod of agreement. In Saudi Arabia, much like in many other countries, a solid and effective employment contract is the cornerstone of a successful employment relationship. This written contract outlines employers’ and employees’ rights and responsibilities, serving as the foundation for their working partnership.

Exploring employment contracts in Saudi Arabia, Wego will discover key details that employees and employers should understand before embarking on their collaborative work journey.

Employment contract Saudi Arabia latest news

The Qiwa platform, managed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), has reduced the maximum probation period for workers from 180 days to 90 days. This change was made due to employers mistakenly setting a 180-day probation period in employment contracts through the platform.

The Labor Law specifies that the probation period should not exceed 90 days unless both parties agree to extend it in writing after the original probation period has begun.

Employment contract Saudi Arabia

Within the framework of Saudi Arabian employment, an employment contract serves as a formal agreement between an employer and an employee. This contract outlines the duties that must be carried out in return for a mutually agreed upon salary. The employment contract is created with two duplicated copies, with each party retaining one copy.

For non-Saudi workers, this contract must take written form and specify a defined period. In situations where the duration is unspecified, the timeline of the work permit is deemed synonymous with the contract period. Crucially, even if unwritten, a contract holds legal weight, and either party reserves the right to request its formulation whenever needed.

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Employment contract in Saudi Arabia contents

An employment contract in Saudi Arabia typically covers the following essential details:

  • employer information: The contract specifies the employer’s name and location.
  • worker details: These include the worker’s name and nationality.
  • identification documentation: Paperwork confirming the worker’s identity is usually required.
  • residential information: The contract may state the worker’s place of residence.
  • wage and benefits: The agreed-upon wage and any benefits and allowances are outlined.
  • work type and location: The type of work and where it will be conducted are specified.
  • date of employment: The contract includes the starting date of employment.
  • contract duration: The expected duration of the contract is mentioned.

Approval of employment contract in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s labor authorities have taken a significant step towards ensuring the fairness of employment contracts by mandating electronic authentication for all establishments in the country. This measure, directed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, seeks to safeguard the rights of both employers and employees.

Through the Ministry’s Qiwa platform, the authentication process achieves two main goals: ensuring employers’ compliance with labor rules and accurate contract data and simplifying the management of employment contracts for Saudi and foreign workers in the private sector.

Practically speaking, the process of establishing a contract through Qiwa involves the following steps:

  1. Access the “Contract Management” service within E-services.
  2. Provide necessary establishment information.
  3. Input employee details.
  4. Fill in contract specifics such as job title, duration, working hours, financial obligations, etc.
  5. Send the contract request to the employee for review.

The ministry highlighted that once the establishment drafts the employment contract, the employee can approve, reject, or request amendments through their account on Qiwa Individual. If both parties approve it, the contract becomes authenticated by the ministry.

Meanwhile, when it comes to approving or rejecting a job offer, the employee follows these straightforward steps:

  • register/login to Qiwa platform
  • log in to the “Individual Account.”
  • go to “Employee Contracts Service”
  • choose a contract from the list
  • review the contract request, then accept it or reject it

Note: the contract will be canceled automatically in the event of no response within 30 days from creating the contract request by the establishment.

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