Employment Contract in Saudi Arabia

All employees should be provided with an employment contract in writing specifying all details of the remuneration package. Anything agreed verbally is not covered by a contract, so it is important that all the important aspects are written down.

Employment should follow the regulations set out in the labor law, which is governed by the Ministry of Labor.

For more information on the labor law: Click here
To download a copy of the Ministry of Labor’s guidebook for expats working in Saudi Arabia: Click here


Salary: This needs to include any bonuses applicable, rates and conditions of overtime pay, and how and when it will be paid

Job title and description: All duties to be carried out and the place of work (including whether working for or with any organisations other than the main employer)

Duration: This should mention the start date and is normally a fixed term of two or three years. At the end of the period, a new contract will need to be negotiated

Probation period: Whether there is one, and if so, its length and the terms of it

Housing allowance: This should stipulate whether assistance is included to help arrange 

Accommodation or in paying the rent; if somewhere will be free to move into upon arrival in the country; and if it is allowed to arrange personal accommodation during the term of employment or if that provided by the company must be used at all times (and if so, what this would cost)
Relocation costs: Whether relocation costs will be paid by the employer for both moving to Saudi Arabia and moving on after the job finishes, and whether it includes any allowances for furnishing a house.
Flights: Expats normally receive an annual flight to their home country for themselves and all members of their family, but any restrictions should be made clear

Holiday allowance: Needs to address how much there is, when it can be taken and how weekends are accounted for during leave taken
Medical insurance: This is normally provided for the employee and family members, but it should be confirmed exactly what care this covers, which establishments it includes and whether there would be any excess to pay for each session of treatment
Education: This should stipulate what is covered, for how many children, to what age and which schools can be used

Pets: Can they be imported and kept in company accommodation?

Other benefits: These include travel allowance, an allowance to buy a vehicle for personal 
transport and transport costs for family members

Status of employment: Whether family members are allowed to accompany the employee and, if so, how many and what is covered for them
Sponsor’s name: This must be detailed, if it is not the employer

Exit and re-entry visas: It should be confirmed whether these will be arranged and paid for by the sponsor when required, including for annual leave when flights are also supplied

Rules for dismissal: Both during the probation period (if applicable) term and subsequently, including the notice required by the employee and the employer to terminate the contract
Working hours: Including standard hours and days of work, plus any changes for Ramadan
End-of-service awards: For foreign nationals finishing a fixed term of employment, this is normally half a month’s wages for between one and five years’ service, with an additional month’s wages for every extra year
Resigning, being sacked or made redundant during a contract: This should cover what happens to repatriation costs and end-of-service awards after different lengths of employment

Maternity leave: The terms and conditions and whether paternity leave is also offered (in the case of international companies)

When accepting a job offer, an English-language contract may be signed by both parties before departing for Saudi Arabia, but it is likely that an Arabic version will need to be signed after the foreign national arrives in the country. As the Arabic version is the one that will be referred to in the event of a dispute, it is important to have the contract translated and checked by a trusted person. A contract should be signed only when every aspect is understood and agreed to, including any amendments made during the course of employment.

A copy of the contract is one of the documents needed when applying for a visa to enter the country.

When checking their contracts, foreign nationals should ensure that certain clauses are included.

As all fees for processing visas and residency permits for the employee and any accompanying family members should be borne by the sponsor, they do not need to be mentioned in the contract.