New Saudi Labor Contractual Relationship Guidelines – 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Labor Reform Initiative (LRI) The contractual relationship improvement initiative, launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), came into effect today, March 14, 2021.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD) unveiled the initiative’s detailed user guide.

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Exit Re-Entry Visa

Meanwhile, the exit and re-entry service allows an expat worker to submit an exit and re-entry request during the period of the contract through “Absher” application. The employer will have a period of 10 days to inquire about the exit and re-entry visa application submitted by his expat worker. If the employer does not respond within the time limit (10 days), the worker will be able to issue a single visa for 30 days, within five days from this deadline’s expiry. The below criteria will apply:

  1. The worker should be subject to the labor law.
  2. The worker contract should be valid and authenticated.
  3. The worker’s residence permit should be valid.
  4. The worker passport should be valid for 90 days minimum.
  5. The worker should be resident in the Kingdom when applying for visa.
  6. The worker should have no pending traffic violations.

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Final Exit Visa

The initiative enables the worker to request a final exit during the period of the contract or after its expiry, provided that:

  1. The worker applying for the final exit visa should be subject to the labor law.
  2. The worker work contract should be authenticated.
  3. The worker should have a valid residence permit.
  4. The worker passport should be valid for 60 days minimum.
  5. The workers should be resident in the Kingdom when applying for the exit visa.
  6. The worker should not own any vehicle.
  7. The worker should settle unpaid traffic violations.

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Job Mobility Service

The job mobility service allows an expat worker to transfer to another job upon the expiry of the contract without the need for the employer’s approval, provided the following conditions are applied:

  1. Work permits for unified number establishments should be valid.
  2. Establishments should be categorized as mid-green and above.
  3. Establishments should be 80% compliant with the wages protection system over the last three months.
  4. 100% of the employee contracts in the establishments should be authenticated.
  5. The self-assessment program should have a compliance rate of 80% minimum.
  6. Establishments should have an internal monitoring system.

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Other regulations include:

  1. The worker should be subject to the labor law.
  2. The worker should complete his first year with the current employer in his first entry into the Kingdom.
  3. The worker should be on the job.
  4. No other request for the job mobility should be submitted.
  5. Adherence to the contract notice period.

However, the services of the contractual relationship improvement initiative will not apply in these cases:

  • The worker contract is not authenticated.
  • The worker is not paid for three consecutive months.
  • No work permit is issued for the worker during his first 90 days in the Kingdom.
  • Worker’s employment or residence permits are expired.
  • The current establishment’s approval on the career mobility request.