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Employer of Record in Saudi Arabia

Employer of Record in Saudi Arabia

Skuad's Saudi Arabia EOR (Employer of Record) solution is the perfect option to allow your business to take advantage of this environment without requiring an entity setup. Our unified and automated global hr platform enables you to expedite the onboarding of your remote team, manage their payroll, benefits, etc. Compliantly. We help you streamline the global expansion process with the able assistance of our international network.

Skuad's Saudi Arabia EOR solution helps you expand your business effortlessly without worrying about the complexities of the hiring policies in the country. From recruitment, payroll management, and employee management to probation, regulation, and managing provincial laws, Skuad handles everything for you without requiring you to set up a separate legal entity. Talk to Skuad experts today and learn how to expand your business into Saudi Arabia in the most hassle-free manner.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the most desirable places to work in the Middle East in recent years due to its monarchy's measures to make it a more liberal and effective place of business.

What You Must Know Before Employing in Saudi Arabia

The legal system in Saudi Arabia is based on the teachings from the Quran and Sharia law. The judges here refer to this Sharia law for giving any kind of punishment to the offenders. Saudization is the recent law passed in Saudi Arabia that mandates foreign employers to fill their positions with the Saudi workforce. Women are allowed to work in Saudi Arabia but with certain restrictions. Naturally, the legal framework of another country is likely to be confusing and complex for people new in the territory and are unfamiliar with such a system. In terms of their impact, however, the system in Saudi Arabia does resemble most other nations.

Nevertheless, to minimize or mitigate the challenges for companies looking to set up a local office, it is advisable to partner with an Employer of Record partner who is well-versed in the practicalities of the law in Saudi Arabia and how it affects different types of workers.

Below are some of the rights and entitlements for employees in Saudi Arabia:

S. No. Entitlements Explanations
1. Statutory Working Hours 48 hours per week. During Ramadan, it is 36 hours per week (for Muslim employees).
2. Overtime Eligibility

According to the Saudi Labor Law, Article 107, overtime includes an extra 150% on basic pay.

Maximum overtime hours are 11 hours per day, and the worker can increase the same.

3. Paid Public Holidays The number of paid public holidays in Saudi Arabia is much fewer compared to other Arab states. They are also linked with religious events, so they often don't have fixed dates. They are as follows:
May 12-15, 2021 Eid Al Fitr
July 21-22, 2021 Eid Al Adha
September 23, 2021 National Day
Note - Government employees are generally granted more leaves.
4. Holiday Pay Employees in Saudi Arabia receive holiday pay for public holidays, approved medical leave, maternity or paternity leave, aside from general entitlement of 21 days, increasing to 30 days after 5 years of service. Muslim employees receive an additional paid religious leave of 10 to 15 days to conduct a pilgrimage to Mecca after two years of service. Furthermore, employees receive paid educational leave that starts 15 days before examinations begin and lasts until the end of the examination period. An extra 5 days is provided right after marriage.
5. Medical Leave 1. An employee with proof of illness shall be granted a paid sick leave for the initial thirty days, in which they get 75% of the compensation for the next sixty days and without pay for the following 30 days, during a single year.
2. An employee may request combining the annual leave along with sick leave. 3. If any sick leave days coincide with the annual leave, then the annual leave shall be put on hold until the sick leave expires. Upon completion of the sick leave, the annual leave shall resume.
4. A worker will not be allowed weekly rest days if it coincides with sick leave.
5. A hurt worker can avail 60 days full wage. The worker shall not have the right to reclaim the amounts to the employee during this period.
6. Maternity Leave
**Bereavement Leave**

Article 151 of the Labor Law specifically mandates maternity leave. It provides that -

  • A working woman shall have the right to maternity leave, for a maximum of 10 weeks, out of which a maximum of 4 weeks must be taken before the due date established by a medical certificate. These 10 weeks can be distributed however the woman chooses.
  • A woman who has birthed a sick or disabled child may extend her leave for a further 1 month of paid leave and another month of unpaid leave.
  • Fathers are eligible for 3 days of parental leave.
  • Male employees get 5 days, and female employees get 15 days' leave when their spouse dies.
    7. Annual Leave Accrual Entitlement Employees in Saudi Arabia are entitled to 21 days of paid leave each year, increasing to 30 days after five years of service. Additionally, five days' paid leave is granted immediately after marriage.
    8. Leave Expiry Every employee in Saudi Arabia must avail of vacation leave during the year it is due. If an employee does not do so, the employer may choose to give him leaves for future years or forfeit the benefit.
    9. Leave Cash Out Article 109 of the Saudi Labor Law prohibits leave encashment during the employee's service in Saudi Arabia, except for a departing employee.
    10. Accrued Leave At Termination Article 111 of the Saudi Labor Law allows cash payment in exchange for the accrued leave balance of a departing employee.
    11. Employee Protection and Anti-discrimination Rights Article 3 provides that there shall be equal treatment of Saudi nationals. Similar provisions haven’t been issued for foreign workers.
    12. Confidentiality of Personal Information Saudi laws do not stipulate any procedures that employers must follow to transfer employee data outside of the kingdom.

    To learn more about employment laws, Saudi Arabia and employment agreements in Saudi Arabia, talk to Skuad experts.

    Contractors vs. Full-Time Employees

    The labor law doesn't distinguish different classes of employees without any specific regulation. The law, however, clearly demarcates various benefits for individuals based on their nationality.

    There is also fixed-term contract work which expires once the period is completed. The concept of freelance work and self-employment is not common in Saudi Arabia in most industries. Part-time contractors are rather typical in the agricultural sector. However, like all other commercial activities in Saudi Arabia, self-employment shall require the individual to hold a trade license. To learn more, click here.

    Hiring in Saudi Arabia

    Prospective employees can be found through different means, such as referrals or open applications, depending on the scale of the organization. Online employment websites are also suitable options. The best websites to seek out employees in Saudi Arabia include

    1. Bayt
    2. Expatriates
    3. Gulf talent

    To contact a Skuad expert, click here.

    Probation & Termination

    The labor law governs the rules regarding probation, specifically articles 53 and 54. Any agreement in respect to probation has to be mentioned in the employment contract. The probation period can be for a maximum 90 days with an option to extend it to 180 days upon mutual agreement by both parties. This does not include Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha holidays and sick leave. Additional probation rules apply to teachers who gain employment in Saudi Arabia – a teacher can have probation for up to two years.

    Article 54 of the labor law provides that once the probationary period elapses, employees must not be placed on another such period without mutual consent and an undertaking to extend the ambit of the work performed by the employee. Both the employer and employee shall normally be granted the right to terminate the contract during this period unless they had previously agreed to different terms in the contract. Further, there shall be no compensation or end-of-service for the employee if the contract is terminated during this period. A foreign national employee shall also have to bear the expenses of returning to their home countries if they resign or are terminated due to being unfit during this period.

    The domestic workers regulation allows for a 90-day probation period, according to the law of domestic workers. The employer may end the service without assuming responsibility if the worker is determined to be incompetent during the probation period.

    Talk to a Skuad expert to learn more about probation in Saudi Arabia.

    Termination of Services

    The termination of the employer-employee relationship has been specially dealt with in chapter 3 of the labor law.

    Termination of contract without notice by either party A contract can be terminated without notice for a wide variety of reasons or circumstances. Some such situations are -
    1. Mutual agreement by both parties;
    2. Failure of medical examination;
    3. During the probationary period;
    4. The employee has reached the retirement age (60 years for men and 55 for women). This is, however, limited by party consent; parties can choose not to retire/terminate the contract if they consent to it;
    5. Expiry of the contract.
    Dismissal of the employee by the employer, without notice An employer shall have the ability to terminate the contract without notice in certain circumstances. These would include cases where the employee forged documents to obtain the job, failed to perform the duties of employment and related instructions, assaulted the management, disclosed work secrets, etc.
    Termination of the contract without notice by the employee The employee may choose to terminate the contract in the following cases:
    1. If the employer failed to accord the employee the treatments he was obliged to, contractually or through statute;
    2. If the employee was assigned work differing from what was originally agreed upon;
    3. Failure of employer to meet safety and health requirements at the workplace;
    4. Fraud in respect to work conditions and circumstances;
    5. Assault by the employer against the employee or their family.

    In the event of any wrongful termination, the parties shall be entitled to compensation.

    Learn more about the probation and termination of employees in Saudi Arabia here.

    EOR Solution in Saudi Arabia

    A Saudi Arabian Employer of Record (Saudi Arabia EOR) solution makes it easier and faster for businesses to expand into the kingdom. Taking the EOR route ensures smooth and compliant payroll processing and other employment responsibilities without any entity establishment. Skuad can help you manage monthly payroll, contracts, work permits, taxation, etc. In Saudi Arabia for your employees. Book a Demo today.

    Outsourcing Employment Through an Employer of Record

    When your organization decides to expand into Saudi Arabia, you also need to determine the route you wish to pursue, i.e., whether you want to build your organization by establishing an in-house team or using an EOR service like Skuad to manage such an operation. Our team of well-informed professionals will handle the arduous task of managing global payroll, compliance, and taxation, on your behalf. Talk to Skuad Experts and build a global team of efficient workers.

    Types of Visas in Saudi Arabia

    For working in Saudi Arabia, one needs to obtain an employment visa. This process has to begin with the employer applying for this visa. The steps have been listed below:

    1. The sponsoring employer registers with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior;
    2. The ministry, during this process, opens an immigration file which records the details of all the employer's expatriate workers;
    3. The employer shall then file an application with the ministry of labor for an employment visa;
    4. Upon approval, the ministry of labor shall inform the ministry of foreign affairs, which in turn shall issue a visa authorization number within 2 weeks;
    5. The employee shall then submit their application to the relevant embassy, along with the following documents:
      • Passport valid till employment period
      • Colour passport photo
      • Proof of online payment of the visa fee through the enjazit website
      • Visa application duly filled
      • Signed medical report (3 copies)
      • Sponsored Saudi Arabia company’s employment letter
      • Signed employment contract
      • A criminal record report by the police
      • A prepaid envelope with an address
    6. The embassy shall then issue the visa within approximately 3 weeks, upon which the employee can travel to Saudi Arabia;
    7. The employee must then apply for a residency permit through the ministry of labor, which will then forward the application to the Ministry of Interior;
    8. The permit shall finally be issued through the directorate-general for passports.

    This permit is an essential document and must be carried by the worker at all times to prove they reside and work in Saudi Arabia legally. The employee shall also have to seek exit and re-entry permits should they temporarily leave Saudi Arabia.

    Work Permit

    Expatriates coming to work in Saudi Arabia must have a sponsor. The sponsor can either be a citizen of Saudi or an international company. The expatriates can work and leave the country only with the permission of their sponsor. The provision to get Iqama is made once you got the work permit from the Ministry of Labor. Skuad's local partner in Saudi Arabia can sponsor work permits for foreign workers. As an EOR in Saudi Arabia, Skuad can handle all the requirements and responsibilities related to employment. The client company can manage its employees' daily activities and operations.

    Can Skuad Sponsor Work Permit in Saudi Arabia? Yes
    Processing Time Processing time varies by embassy but is generally 1-3 weeks. After the embassy issues the Work/Employment visa, the individual can travel to Saudi Arabia. The Work/Employment visa will allow a stay of between 14-90 days.
    Work Permit Process The permit process has been provided above in the Employment Visa Section.
    Passport Submission The application process will require the submission of the original passport.
    Work Permit Validity The Work/Employment visa will allow a stay of between 14-90 days.
    Work Permit Process for Different Countries The overall process is the same for all countries, with few exceptions.
    Change of Sponsor Within Saudi Arabia The sponsorship can be changed upon agreement between the previous sponsor and the employee. Such a change must take place through the Qiwa System.
    When Can an Employee Travel to Saudi Arabia? The employee can travel upon approval of the Employment Visa.
    What’s the Cost of Iqama? Depending on the hiring ratio between Saudi and foreign nationals, the rate is different.
    Duration of Business Visa Processing Once at the embassy, processing times last from 1 to 3 weeks.
    Can Spouses Work on Dependent Visas? No
    Termination of Work Permit The permit may be terminated with different notice periods depending on the circumstances of the termination.
    Special Requirements for Work Permit Cancellation The employer usually terminates the permit.

    Talk to a Skuad expert to know more.

    Things You Must Know to Set Up Payroll in Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is unique in the manner business is conducted here. As mentioned above, contracts play a significant role in the employment culture of the country. The rules, while straightforward, attract substantial penalties upon non-compliance. As a business operating on foreign shores, knowledge and understanding of these systems are paramount for effective functioning. The two most popular ways of going about it are -

    1. Establishing an in-house unit to manage the payroll and related issues in Saudi Arabia; or
    2. Hiring a service expert to ensure all compliance issues are taken care of by an expert in the local laws efficiently and effectively.

    The employer is expected to contribute 12 percent of the employee's salary to social insurance for Saudi nationals. It does not impose any specific requirements for foreign nationals.

    Taxes in Saudi Arabia

    There is no personal income tax in Saudi Arabia. However, a flat tax of 20% is imposed on the tax-adjusted profit of non-Saudi residents and individuals who don't belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    These individuals may also have to pay withholding tax for income originating in Saudi Arabia. Further taxes shall be imposed depending on the existence of an international tax agreement between Saudi Arabia and the nation to which the foreign national belongs.

    The setup of withholding taxes in the country are as follows:

    Items Under Tax Rate of Tax in Percentage
    Fees for Management Services 20%
    Service charges like payments for air tickets, freight or marine, shipping, international telephone services, insurance or reinsurance premiums, and financial income from dividends 5%
    Royalties and affiliate expenditures regarding services by and payments to the head office 15%


    Annual bonuses are common, and the state typically gives out a bonus equal to a month's wage. Bonuses based on performance are also common.

    Incorporation: How to Set Up a Subsidiary in Saudi Arabia

    Depending on the scale of the organization, the type of entity to be set up shall likely differ. The most common type, however, is the limited liability company (LLC).

    Although not imposed through a law, the ministry of investment of Saudi Arabia has established a minimum capital requirement of sr 500,000 to set up an LLC. The company must also have between 2 and 50 shareholders and be managed and represented by one or more managers.

    The law does not mandate the establishment of a board of directors. However, shareholders are free to establish one via the memorandum of association. If the company has over 20 partners, it must establish a body termed the 'board of controllers,' which functions similarly to the board of directors.

    There are immense business opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Because of the country's flourishing economy, many businesses find it attractive to expand into Saudi Arabia. However, it is essential to know the various laws for incorporation.

    Learn more about setting up a subsidiary in Saudi Arabia with Skuad's potent EOR solution.

    Professional Employment Organization (PEO)

    A Professional Employment Organization, or PEO, is an organization that facilitates the main HR processes of small and medium-sized enterprises. Like the EOR facility, they usually provide services like regulatory compliance, tax filing, and HR training and development. The key difference between PEO and EOR services is in respect to who the legal employer actually is.

    PEO services only facilitate the hiring and other HR tasks. This means that your business will still have to enter the country and establish a legal presence through a subsidiary or other means. Depending on the scale of your enterprise, this could be an economically unfavorable option. EOR, on the other hand, incorporates all the services offered by a PEO by becoming the legal employer of the workers. The decision between the 2 shall depend on the scale of your organization and what suits your business needs.

    Skuad's integrated platform acts as an EOR solution. Its unified employment platform manages all hr-related functions; right from recruitment to termination, everything is handled by Skuad's single platform. You can build an efficient team of workers remotely while complying with the local laws. Skuad handles all the functions such as onboarding workers, both full-time and contractors, managing their payroll and taxes, etc. Connect with us and elevate your business prospects while saving your time and money with Skuad's advanced EOR solutions.

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