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Working Hours, Rest Days, and Overtime in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has its own provisions when it comes to working hours, rest days, and overtime. It is stated clearly in their Labor Law the maximum number of hours an employee should render, the specific rest days in a week and the payment for overtime. If you are an expat currently working in Saudi or planning to get a job here for a better salary, you must understand their labor laws for your benefit.

Also Read: Getting Around Saudi – Types of Transport

In case you have no idea of labor provisions in this country, here’s a list of the standard working hours, rest days, and overtime rate. It is helpful to bring this list with you to make sure that you are working on the right time with the right compensation.

working hours saudi

Labour Law Pertaining to Work in Saudi Arabia

Working Hours

  • The standard working hours is not more than 8 hours a day.
  • The working hours per day maybe adjusted provided that for the whole week, it should not exceed 48 hours.
  • There are instances that the working hours can be increased to 9 hours for employees within specific sector, especially those who are not working continuously.
  • Employees with hazardous jobs can work at least 7 hours a day, subject to the approval of the Minister of Labor.
  • During Ramadan, Muslims are to work 6 hours a day or 36 hours a week.
  • Employees should be given break or rest periods after working for 5 hours consecutively.
  • The rest periods are not part of the working hours. Thus, employees are allowed to go out for lunch or snacks.

Rest Days

  • Rest days are basically scheduled after 5 consecutive days of working.
  • The usual weekend is Friday followed by Saturday or Thursday.

Also Read: Punishments for Violating the Labour Law in Saudi Arabia

Overtime Rate

  • If working overtime, an employee should receive a 150% hourly rate for the additional hours he have worked.
  • Once the employee has gone beyond the standard 48 hours, that’s considered as overtime already.
  • Official holidays are considered as overtime if the employee will work during these days.
  • There are exceptions to overtime pay such as when an employee has a high position in the company, guards and janitors, per project based employee.

These are the fundamentals of what you should know about the major parts of the labor law in Saudi Arabia. Ensure that you understand the provisions well because this will be your guide against abusive employers. You will surely enjoy your employee life in Saudi Arabia if you will follow the rules and regulations set for your safety and prosperity.

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