Stock - Riyadh skyline / Saudi economy / Saudi Arabia
A view of the Riyadh skyline - for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi authorities have unveiled a domestic labour-related initiative aimed at improving the contractual relationship between employees and employers.

Launched by the Ministry of Human Resources, the initiative offers two major services, namely termination of employment contract due to absence from work; and labour mobility.

The move applies to all categories of domestic workers in line with specific regulations heeding the rights of both parties to the contractual relationship.

The ministry pointed out that if an employer terminates the contract due to the labourer’s absence within two years of the latter's arrival in the kingdom, the worker will have to leave on a final exit visa within 60 days; otherwise, he or she will be considered a violator of the kingdom’s residency and labour laws.

But if the contract is terminated due to absence from work after two years from arrival in the kingdom, the house worker will have the option of departing on a final exit visa or transferring to a new employer within 60 days of absence from the previous job; failing which, he or she will be deemed a violator of the residency and labour laws.

The ministry said it has laid down specific rules for reporting about labour absenteeism, allowing the employer to revoke the report within 15 days from the date of initially lodging it with authorities. The report will be deemed irreversible if the worker has not applied officially for a service transfer, or requested final exit.

The initiative will take effect four months from the date of publishing the related decision on March 28.

Domestic workers in Saudi Arabia include housekeepers, drivers, housemaids, cleaners, cooks, guards, farmers, live-in nurses, tutors and nannies.

As part of its efforts to regulate the labour market, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources has set up the Musaned domestic labour platform to help clients learn about their rights and duties, and associated services including visa issuance, recruitment requests and contractual relationships between the employer and the worker.

The ministry has made the contracting process obligatory via the Musaned, being the official recruitment platform in the kingdom.