Saudi Arabia extends coronavirus-related labor law procedures to 9 months

Saudi Arabia extends coronavirus-related labor law procedures to 9 months

HR Minister Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi issued a decision to extend the procedures mentioned in Article 41 of the Executive Regulations of Labor Law to 9 months starting from the date on which the kingdom took the measures mentioned in paragraph one of the same article.

Article 41 of the Labor Law applies to all workers in establishments and sectors affected by the precautionary measures taken to prevent coronavirus spread, as set out in article 5 of the Labor Law.

Certain categories or sectors are excluded under the exemptions provided by an order issued by the regulatory authority. Application of Article 41 requires consensus between the worker and the employer.

Last April, the Ministry amended the Labor Law to tackle the coronavirus pandemic situation. Accordingly, Article 41 has been inserted in the Implementing Regulation of the Labor Law, which enables the employer and employee – for a period of 6 months – to agree to any of the following:

  • A reduction in salary provided that there is a corresponding reduction in working hours;
  • Placing the employee on paid annual leave (as part of their holiday entitlement);
  • Implementing a period of unpaid leave.

Article 41 came into effect on April 6, 2020, and only applies whenever the government takes any measures regarding a general situation that warrants a reduction of hours or any precautionary measure to prevent the worsening of such a general situation, like the present COVID-19 situation.