The Covid-19 has made sure to destroy the economy of every country. From country-wise lock-downs to international suspensions, every market and every sector is facing major crisis. Where the developed countries like Italy have been completely destroyed by the deadly virus, countries like Iraq, India and Pakistan are also facing major economical issues.
Read More: Latest Changes Announced by MOL in Salary & Unpaid Leave on 5-May-2020
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no exception in this case. However, the country is keen to prevent itself from any major setback that is difficult to recover. Being a developed nation, the country is trying to implement laws that are beneficial for the workers and Saudi expats in the country right from staying in their countries on paid leaves and extending visas.
However, now the news has arisen that Saudi Arabia allowed employers to send expatriates workers on unpaid leave. What is it about? Is it even possible to do so? Read all about in the article below.
Coronavirus Causes the Saudi Arabia Labor Law to Change
According to the Saudi press Agency (SPA), on Monday, 16-April-2020,
The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development issued a statement on the rights and duties of the employer and mercenary during the pandemic days of Coronavirus.
What does the Statement told the Private Companies?
In the statement by the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, it was said for the private companies to take several steps in order to cope up with the arising issues due to Coronavirus. These suggestions include,
- Reducing worker’s pay as per their working hours.
- Sending them on paid leaves if there leave is due.
- Sending them to unpaid leave or emergency leave to cope with the crisis.
Can Employer Send Expats Employee on an Unpaid Forced Leave?
According to the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, normally an employer cannot send a worker on forced leave however, under the current situation where the government is taking special steps to deal with the Corona crisis, this exceptional case can take place. Read more: How to Extend re-entry visas of Expats those are outside Kingdom
Is it legally Possible to Send Expat Employee on Unpaid Leave?
Yes, it is allowed legally to send Saudi expat worker/ employee on paid leave. As per the the 5th clause of Section 74 of the Labor Law,
The employee/ worker may obtain, subject to the employer’s approval, leave without pay for the duration to be agreed upon between the two parties. The employment contract shall be deemed suspended for the duration of the leave in excess of 20 days unless the two parties agree to the contrary.
Can the Employer’s Terminate their Worker’s Contract?
No, as per the statement issued by the Ministry statement if any private company has taken subsidy from the government to deal the crises, they cannot terminate any worker from the employment however, a employee / worker is free to terminate contract any time.
Supporting the Private Companies as Another Step by the Government
The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development has also facilitated temporary use of expatriate services in various companies through transfer of sponsorship. As explained in our previous article, using the Ajeer gate the companies who have less manpower can allow expat to transfer sponsorship through companies which have abundant. This will allow the prevention of the need of calling workers from overseas.