The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has included four additional revisions to the “Absent From Work (Huroob)” laws for workers in the private sector.

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The restrictions, rules, and processes for worker absences (Huroob) in Saudi Arabia’s private sector businesses have been modified by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

This is consistent with the Ministry’s objectives to strengthen the contractual connection between employers and employees, protect both parties’ rights, and improve the attractiveness and flexibility of the labor market in the Kingdom.

The new controls for an employee’s absence from work are as follows.

  • After the employer submits a request to end the contractual relationship due to the employee’s absence from work, the employee’s data is no longer linked to the company, and the ministry’s systems will update his status to “Discontinued,” meaning the current employer is exempt from paying the employee’s fees.
  • After 60 days have passed without the expat worker taking one of the aforementioned two alternatives, the status of the worker will be upgraded to “Absent From Work” in the ministry’s systems and relevant rules. The worker has 60 days to move to a new employer or to take a definitive exit.
  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development explained that expat workers who had been reported as “Absent From Work” before the date of this update, employers will be permitted to transfer their services to their businesses in the event that their status is “Absent From Work,” and the late fees on the worker’s record will be transferred to the new employer with the condition that he consents to that when transferring the worker’s services to him, and in case that the worker’s record shows that the worker was “Absent From Work,”
  • These steps are part of the ministry’s initiatives to uphold the rights of employees and employers and a continuation of efforts to improve the effectiveness and allure of the Saudi labor market, including the Wadi program, the wage protection system, and the initiative to enhance contractual relationships.

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