An employment contract is a written agreement between an employer and an employee. This contract is a formalized document and serves as a guide, indicating the employee’s job description, salary, working hours, benefits, and other provisions. An employment contract also stipulates the terms and conditions for entering, ending or terminating the work agreement. There are many provisions and clauses in an employment contract in Saudi Arabia.

Every individual in Saudi Arabia who enters into an employment contract must know how drafting an employment contract works, and understand the important clauses and the clauses that could hurt the employee and the clauses that could benefit the employee. Also to understand the rules, and regulations of employment and the labor law in Saudi Arabia. Employers and employees should know their rights and liabilities about employment. When you draft or review an employment contract, it is important you clear every point in your mind. Below are important points to know and understand in an employment contract in Saudi Arabia;

  • Your employment contract language must be in Arabic and if it is bilingual, make sure the translation is the same and correct, with no mistakes as only the Arabic language shall prevail in Saudi Arabia.
  • Your name, passport number and date of birth should be the same as your residence permit and passport.
  • Your country of origin should match your residence permit. If you flew from a different country, and your employment contract expired you shall go back to your country of origin not to the country where you flew from.
  • If you resign before your employment contract expires, you shall be entitled to one third of “the end of service award” after a service of not less than two consecutive years and not more than five years, to two thirds if your service is in excess of five successive years but less than ten years and to the full award if your service amounts to ten or more years.
  • If you get fired for no good reason (the labor law has specific reasons where an employer can legally fire an employee), you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation, paid up full front salaries until the expiry date of the contract and the end of service award.
  • If you get fired for a good reason (the labor law has specific reasons where an employer can legally fire an employee), you shall only get paid until the day you got fired.
  • Only your employer can issue an exit and reentry visa.
  • If you file a lawsuit against your employer, you cannot leave the country unless your employer issues a final exit or a court order.
  • Your employer is not obliged to bring your family to Saudi Arabia, as it is optional.
  • Your employer is not obliged to pay tuition for your children’s school, unless it is written in the contract.
  • Your employer is not obliged to transfer your residence permit to another employer (change sponsor), if you are not happy with your employment, unless it is written in the contract.
  • If you have been issued with an exit and reentry visa, and you do not come back to Saudi Arabia during the specific time mentioned in the visa, you shall not be able to enter the country for three years.
  • If you have been issued with an exit visa, you shall be able to return back.
  • If you have been accused with a crime and convicted, you shall be asked to leave the country (after you serve your time) and never come back.
  • Not all employees are entitled to a bonus, unless it is written in the contract.
  • All employees are entitled to end of service benefits (unless you resign from a service of less than two consecutive years).
  • If you need to file a lawsuit against your employer, you shall be aware that there is a limitation period, which is twelve months from the end date of your contract.

These are just few things that you should know before entering into an employment contract in Saudi Arabia. Always make sure you take your time to read and review your contract well before you sign it.