Salary delay? Expats free to transfer sponsorship

Salary delay? Expats free to transfer sponsorship

Mufrij Al-Haqbani

Faris Al-Qahtani

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — Expatriates have the right to transfer sponsorships if their sponsors delay their salaries for more than three months, according to Minister of Labor Mufrij Al-Haqbani.

He said the ministry has received a number of complaints against employers who delay the payment of salaries.

“We have activated the video call service which enables employees and workers to directly reach me. We have implemented the service in Jeddah, Rafhaa and Al-Dwadmi. The service is a part of the ministry’s plan to facilitate the interaction between employees and the ministry,” said Al-Haqbani.

The video calling service was activated in October.

“Callers can reach the minister or other officials in the ministry by calling customer service at 19911. Employers and employees no longer need to visit the main Labor Office in Riyadh to have their inquiries answered and paperwork processed,” said Al-Haqbani.

There are so far 60 labor offices in the Kingdom offering the video calling service.

He said delaying the salaries of employees and workers is a clear violation of the Saudi Labor Law.

“Workers have the right to transfer their sponsorship if their sponsors delay their salaries for three months. The workers do not need the permission of the sponsor in such cases and can sue the sponsor for delaying the salary,” said Al-Haqbani.

He also said the sponsor will be obliged by law to pay the salary with compensation if the matter goes to court.

The Labor Ministry implemented the Wage Protection System (WPS) in 2013. The system was implemented in stages. In June 2013 it became compulsory for companies with more than 3,000 employees, in September 2013 it was made compulsory for companies with more than 2,000 employees, in December 2013 it was made mandatory for companies with more than 1,000 employees, in November 2014 it became compulsory for companies with more than 500 employees, in February 2015 it became compulsory for companies with more than 320 employees, in April 2015 companies with more than 240 employees were brought under WPS purview, in June 2015 WPS was expanded to cover companies with more than 170 employees, in August 2015 WPS became compulsory for companies with more than 130 employees and in November 2015 it was made mandatory for companies with more than 100 employees.

“The ministry prioritizes the rights of the employees. The ministry is focusing its efforts on making more electronic services available. The move to a more digitalized ministry will improve the economy of the Kingdom and will expedite its development,” said Al-Haqbani.


  1. Great decision by the Labor Minister. If it is implemented, then this will be much better for expatriates as most of them not receiving their salaries on time..

    • No its not yet implemented. No one take action law is in the books only, companies are still holding the passports with them no 1 is here to keep an eye and take undertaking from the companies that do they hold the passports or not

      • When I came back from holiday my company didn’t take my passport back instead asks me to sign form that I am responsible for both my iqama and passport.

      • what do you mean by not yet implemented?
        please concentrate in same topic.
        article is taking about the salary delay and you are complaining about passport holding.
        there is no link!!!!

        • Dear Khaled, no problem about any topic, just tell us where to complain about companies without coming in poster. Is there any number, Is there any procedure to complain without showing our name and identity. If any body want to give hidden news about not following the rules then how can we do. If we come in-front then company may send back or may be deduct salary.

      • still I haven’t get my passport as like other people in my company…. and I don’t have situation to make any complaint because the law is not ready to hear me….if I complain, my sponsor may sent me back…

  2. It is truly a commendable move from the Ministry of Labour. I would like to thank his highness Minister of Labor Mufrij Al-Haqbani and congratulate all the expatriates. This is one of the positive moves among many others that reinforces the expatriate’s trust in the Saudi Labour Law which expatriates had lost hope of due to rampant misuse by many nefarious sponsors. However, I do believe that some new law has to be enforced in order to ease expatriates workers who have been illegally set under huroob by their sponsors. There are not just in hundreds but thousands of such expatriates whose life and careers are hung on a string being pulled by their ill-treating sponsors who use the huroob system to their advantage in order to evade from not clearing salaries and dues of their employees. People have lost their jobs and any hope of entering the kingdom for 5 years, even though they qualify for many decent jobs. I hope that the ministry of labor will take swift action and devise a law which relieves those falsely affected.

    Thank You
    Viquar Arfat

  3. With Wage Protection System in Saudi Arabia, Many companies are paying on time salaries to their employees, Still few people facing the same as their companies are not yet in Wage Protection. Great step from Ministry for allowing employees to transfer sponsorship, if the employers not paid for 3 or more months.

  4. The Gulf countries can’t changes slave system …
    I lived there for 4 years …Every month I hear this lies we didn’t see anything in real

  5. How about…we sign contract in our country..then after we arrived hr in saudi in our company then our company forces us the employee to sign another contrct that not co inside the contract we in our country. Is this also thesame to this saudi labor

    • Sir ,

      Please what about the illegal registration of huroob against the employees by the employers.
      Are there any solution of this issue by the sponsors against their employees for illegal demands (money…delay of salary and then run away)

  6. Day by day the MOI is improving more better system and implementing better rules, appreciate for the system of Video Calling is so easy for poor workers or employees can reach to MOI. On the other hand, even though all strict rules are there and still we are seeing on the newspaper many stories of – NO SALARY for many months for poor workers, So sad to hear such news again and again. Hope we will see more better and advancements in upcoming future.

  7. How about if the company will not provide medical insurance? In this case do we the right to go labor office?

    • In my opinion, providing adequate medical coverage is part of employers obligation in the contract. if they are not providing then you can complaint.

  8. What if I don’t like the rules of company such as cancel day off? Forcing of employees to work like over time….I think it’s not good and this will be not allowed to saudi rules…

  9. It is a very good move taken by the governor, however if we take the transfer without the consent of our sponsor are we still eligible for the end benefits.
    Moreover, when we ask our sponsor for salary, we are being informed that Government authorities are delaying the dues. So what are your thoughts on this.
    Kind Regards

  10. Thank you! It’s good decision….
    How about the company forcing their employees to worked like overtime? I think it is not good and not allowed? Most especially if the employer didn’t paying the said overtime!?

  11. I have a problem but it is not about delay of monthly salary. The company did not pay my overtime for almost seven(7) months already. Is there any provision in the Saudi labor law that will push the company to pay on time? And how much will be the correct computation of overtime pay as per the Saudi labor law?

  12. Our company is forcing us to work for a task not specified in our contract for almost 6 months as of now.. And said if we dont want to follow we can resign if we want… And also said that it is their company style… Is there such thing as company style? Hope this gets to the ministry…

    • please expedite 100% correct…since October 2015 up to the present we did not received our salary or remittance in our account in the Philippines.

  13. I am from Rajesh H. AL- MARRI COMPANY. ABQIAQ DAMMAM….. AND I NOT GOT the salary from four month. So what the process to change in other company can u tell me…..

  14. What if the company terminates such employees?as per saudi law they can terminate the service any time with two months notice period.

  15. Last 4 months we are only hearing that salary should give ontime, but till now we r not seeing any action, hope govt take serious action, we are now three months include current not get salary,
    Hope for possitive reply from you,

  16. Is it Domestic Helper covered for this law? I have sister in law in KSA her employer denied to give her salary monthly. Her employer told her he will give her salary upon return to your country.

  17. What about the establishment, because in our establishment always delay our salary, our iqama was given almost one year .now my iqama was already expired and they did not renew…

  18. Please can you elaborate the procedure of this system if we need to transfer sponsorship..what can we do? And how about our money / salary? Can we get it to our previous employer? Example the 3 months salary delay? Please clarify the news, It is very helpful to us expats here. Thanks…

  19. We see this only in one angle. I am an expatriate working in the same company for many years. Our company executes projects mostly for Governmental entities, some of these projects were finalized since 2014 but didn’t received the payments yet. Usually the procedure might take long but not to this extent. If the cash flow of the company is not steady and sustainable we all loose. So just thinking if the company is not paying us on time we will transfer sponsor ship is not a good idea. I mean the opportunities every where is the same. Economy is inter related, due to huge decline of the oil price we may face a hardship future for some time to come. We should have loyalty to our company. Things might get better sooner or later but jumping from one sponsor to other sponsor with the pretext of the salary is not on time is not a good idea.

  20. Good idea, i salute you sir… but how about the company didnt follow the other
    Labor law, my friends are working to one company from 8am 8pm without
    Overtime, and this company give only 1 day off..i and we hope this kind issue
    You also give attention.

  21. It’s good decision by the Labor Minister but they did not provide any source for complain to where we submit our complains against delay salaries .
    I would like to pass a massage to Govt if they ready my request massage the Ministry of Labor should visit every month to the companies to ask the problems employees.
    it’s worst condition Binladin group and affiliated companies now a days , no salaries since 3 months .
    I hope someone read my massage who is working in Ministry of Labor and took action seriously .

  22. We as expatriate workers are very much appreciating of Ministry of Labor decision, it will help to resolve the salary issues & saving the rights of workers. Video call service is an exceptionally great step to make easy access to the right forum.

  23. Just to understand, for example if a company has less then fifty employees and they delay their salaries for three months or more, are they still cover in this wage protection plan and employees can freely transfer their sponsorship ? Please reply

  24. Good Decision from the Ministry. But it is still to see the improvement in the relationship between an employee and the ministry in the first place in the long run. There also has to be an implementation of 12 months salary and minimum 5000 SAR must be given to the employee.

  25. What about End of Service Benefit if you change sponsor either for not getting salary for three months and/or Iqama expires not renewed by employer. There must be maximum time limit of 90 days to settle end of service benefit by employer for those who change their sponsor according to law. If, employer failed to renew Iqama the police should arrest employer not employees….is it not against human rights?

  26. sorry to say this is useless i have the case in labour office with 25 persons nothing applicable my case number is (160-41-16016) not yet pay salary more than three & indemnity 26 years & not give as sponsorship to another kafeel we are on the roads any one tell us what to do tomorrow i have the labour office date to see what will happen with as

  27. Just decisions / announcement are not effective until unless its convert into implementation, if we got any suitable sponsor & transfer sponsorship, what about pending salaries & ESB which is due from last sponsor ? who will be liable to pay, what will be the mechanism to recover our dues ? If in-between our Iqama Expires, who will be responsible to renew it, who will bear the cost of renewal ? From where the expatriate will bring the money to survived here, all expats solely depend on salaries, when a company is not paying salaries then how he will survived. why Labor Office did not intervene & solve the problem. There should be some rules before giving commercial license or on every renewal of the license it must be mandatory to keep a surety amount in Government Accounts if any financial crisis occurs to company so employees may compensate by this money.

  28. Only delay for 3months salary?how about company driver receiving only 550 riyal from Philippines?according to the contract agreement is 1800+food allowance..thanks

  29. If 3 months delay……and from where he will bring money to survive in these 3 months…..expats should be allowed to get transfer if the sponsor make habit of delaying salaries every month.
    Thank you

  30. This is the Right time announced Minister of Labor Thanks for your kindness Mr. Mufrij Al-Haqbani.
    But still I am confusing because who will pay this unpaid month salary. My company hasn’t paid last 5 month. this is the worst situation for us. Most of our colleagues are afraid to transfer to another company because of getting this last 5 month salary. Suppose I am resign from my company, they are not ready to pay our end of service, pending salary. So minister kindly resolve this issue as well.

    thanking you

    • I am suffering a lot cox my 5 months salries are panding and also i went to labour office yanbu they write to company thay pay the salries and company lawyer promise in front of officer in labour office but till now since promise 2 weeks i did not get any thing from company pl some on help me in this matter and also company is not giving transfer.

  31. Thanks to you Mr. Minister I just want to say one question “I’m having a contract of Autocad Draftsman with the company named as Station for Contracting but they give the job of foreman and they make my residents identify card as a carpenter. What is this? Thanks

  32. Thanks to you Mr. Minister Me also I have a question regarding salary delay because my company every month delay salary 12 days or 15 days. its very hard to me because I have family in Philippines. I have 2 kids both schooling if my salary delay my kids cannot go to school. that’s why I’m looking new company not like this. give me advice pls.

  33. Thanks for minister of labor for continuous support and services about this but expiates are facing problem about the vacation usually we take leave every one (1) year but make rules for every six(6) months so better pass a law about 6 months vacations….

  34. Salam everybody…. I have reisigned from my company and my new company is not paying me from last 3months…. My online transfership request is approved by previous company but new company is delaying with transfership process as well as the renewal of my iqama… Anyone can guide me please…!!!! Can I leave this new company and join another? If yes , then what’s the procedure …. Thanks…

  35. It’s a good decision but the minister said if three months salary is not paid then only he can transfer his sponsorship, i suggest that this should be if one month salary is not paid, how worker & his family back home will survive three months without salary and how much salary he is getting (starting from SR 1,500 to SR 2,500 for house drivers etc), if we (who are getting v good salaries) did not get our salary on time how we feel, so please before taking any decision we should put our-self in their place so we can feel the pain which they are facing.

  36. Sir,
    Thank you for the good initiative. Employees are always hesitate to go against the Company, some time they compromise with the companies brutality. Can Labour Ministry implement a Inspection system to all Company accommodation and working places, to listen the complain from the employees, who will feel free to talk to Ministry representative.

    Best regards

  37. If you say any company not paying for three months of salary worker can transfer to other company.My two questions.(1) Abdul Mohsin Alkhudari such a company well known,not given salaries for six months,the government knows well,even the workers had resigned waiting for six months salaries and final settlement since 4 months what is the solution with Govt and why not taken action.
    2.if a worker want to transfer to other company and had a six months salary with khodari.what will be solution in this case to have transfer also to have settlement.while people transferred still waiting for settlement and salaries with this company.

  38. Sir..we are now facing a 6-months salary delay and some of my companions’ Iqama not yet renewed… One worker already transferred to another company…
    May i ask we get the salary and benefits (ESB) that we left…

    Pls..advice. We’re helpless..

  39. Assalamualaikum Sir. ….Actually im not working in Saudi and havent yet experience this delaying but what im concern is about the salary of my daughter. …Shes a nurse in one of the private hospital in m Macca and and experience a salary delayed more 3months. As a mother im very worried what is happening please help her with this concern.

  40. I am graphic and Web designer and in my company there are only 4 employees and my saudi is not giving salary to any one on right time and my salary is pending from last 6 months and the main thing is I working in a driver visa as an designer..tell me sir what do now I am suffering a lot…plz replay to my comment…thanks

  41. Dear sir,
    today is 6 july 2016, and i did not receive my 2 month salary., first i wanted to ask is this changes are really work, why employer dont have a fear of this laws, they are still doing the same thing as previous delaying salary.
    is there any one has experience of this new law. anyone get their salary back. please inform me how you did this.?

  42. Hello sir, I need help about my additional one month salary leave. My employer didnt give it to me after i come back here in Saudi Arabia. I was finished my contract last Oct.31,2015.. then i spend my vacation in the philippines last February 19,2016. I come back here last March 22,2016.My employer has signed already my new contract but he tells me he didnt know that additional 1 month salary is??? Please help me?

  43. No its not yet implemented. No one take action law is in the books only, companies are still holding the passports with them no 1 is here to keep an eye and take undertaking from the companies that do they hold the passports or not. My company ARCO GROUP always delay in salary not because of low balance. In my company the bank balance is much for salaries but the finance manager want to delay is salary.

  44. Can anyone please tell me the procedure to do this and is it really applicable or not.i want to change my sponsor.its urgent. Kindly help me in this regard

  45. An intriguing discussion is worth comment.

    In my opinion that you should write more about this issue, it could not become
    a taboo subject but usually people tend not to discuss
    these topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

  46. Greetings,

    Great Move.

    On the other hand, how about the pending salaries.

    In my case, company terminated me saying No money to give salaries and they promised that they will give me the pending salaries every month.

    My last working day at my office is June-8-2016. But till now I didn’t received my April, May, 8 days of June salaries.

    I worked this this esteemed organization for 8+ months. They even denied me giving Air Ticket to my domicile. I requested the management to give atleast 50% ie. One way ticket.

    But with constant request, they agree to pay me 25% of ticket fare, ie. 50% of my one way ticket.


  47. Hello sir my name is saikrishna our company have pending 10 months of salary what we do sir , we need some suggestions. We get our December 2015 salary in August 05 /2016

  48. dr sir, our company have pending 1month salary. And also my 8th month running in ksa. My kafeel not giving me iqama. And also i don’t want to work in this company. Now i want exit, what can I do now. Before i am asking to permission for exit, after that my kafeel asking 6500SAR.

  49. Respacted Sir

    My name is Shashikant K Hanabarhatti and I am working as house driver here. My kafeel did not pay me the salary for the last 5 months. And whenever I ask him he says he will pay me next week; but the next week never happen…. This next week now became 5 months.. Please help me what I have to do now.. How can I get my pending salary? Can I change my kafeel? If I go to labour office what will happen? Also, he is running a small business and he has some Laborers there; he did not pay their salary and they went Labour office; but the judgment taking so long that after some days they even don’t have food to eat. It is said that, during the labor-case period, they cannot seek work outside.
    Now I do not have money; all I got from my kafeel during this entire 5 months period is SR650 (Once 500 then 100 + 50). But I am more worried about my family back home: my wife and children are depending on my salary. Still, even after elapsing 5 months, I could not send them any money… How they will eat? Please give me some good idea that can help me to come out of this problem at the earliest.

    Thank you all.

    Your faithfully
    Shashikant. K. H

  50. why we have to wait for 3 months before we can transfer?, or it is the very least before we can transfer to another sponsor?..

  51. I’m a house driver; I came here in KSA on March 15, 2017; on April 7, I received my 15 days’ salary and food allowance. After this, no salary payment yet for us, five Filipino household workers. Two months salary for April and May still pending.. Do I really need to wait three months’ salary delay for seeking another sponsorship? Please clarify..

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