Up to SR100,000 fine for weekend rule violation

Up to SR100,000 fine for weekend rule violation

Ministry of Labor

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Companies which count weekends as part of an employee’s annual leave will have to pay a fine of up to SR100,000, Makkah Arabic daily quoted a Ministry of Labor source as saying on Sunday.

According to the Saudi Labor Law, weekends are not to be counted as part of the employees’ annual leave, the source said.

“The ministry has recorded several cases where companies and employers exploit the ignorance of employees about their rights. Many companies count the weekends as part of annual vacation which is a clear violation of the Saudi Labor Law,” said the source.

“Weekends are official paid leaves. No company has the right to force its employees to work during the weekend and no company has the right to deduct salary for the weekends,” said the source.

Penalties for violating this regulation are usually monetary but sometimes administrative.

The ministry has the right to increase the penalty stated under the law when the violation is repeated.

Violators will be given a deadline to pay the fines. If the violator does not pay on time, the penalty and fine will be increased, said the source.

In certain cases, the ministry has the authority to close down the company for 30 days. If the violation is repeated, the ministry has the right to cancel the license of the company, said the source.


  1. Sir, weekend here counts saturday or just Friday? Our company is not giving us off on Saturday, what can we do? Please help us in this matter.

      • Is this for real? I’m already almost 8yrs here in Jeddah KSA..
        Our working hrs is 10 hrs daily and 1dayoff only every week..where is the Law of Saudi?
        PizzaHut Jeddah private company right?
        But they don’t follow..

        • 10 hours daily is another violation of labor law which say that working hours should not exceed 48 hours in a week. Any additional hours should be paid as overtime.

        • Saudi Labor Law Article (98) states:
          A worker may not actually work for more than eight hours a day if the employer uses the daily work criterion, or more than forty-eight hours a week if he uses the weekly criterion. During the month of Ramadan, the actual working hours for Muslims shall be reduced to a maximum of six hours a day or thirty-six hours a week.

          • Like our company, we are working 10 hours per day and no over time pay specially on eid days. They obliged us to work 12 hours per day without over time pay instead they just deduct the 2 hours after the eid.

        • I think your above calculation based on 6 working days/week pattern not 5 working day pattern???? (Now all companies are working in 5 working days/week pattern.

    • According to international law week end includes two days in a week.ie Saturday and Sunday but in Saudi it will be Friday and Saturday.

    • Offecial day off in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Friday. Some private companies gives its employees Friday & Saturday weekend, provided that to work almost 9 hours per day from Sunday -Thursday which means employees shall work 45 hours per week.

  2. Labor office should clearly state the compulsory week ends first, strictly implement it and then the companies violating this rule should be also fined heavily.

  3. As far as i know, the official weekend in the kingdom is Friday only. Saturdays are sometimes given by companies to their employees as an incentive. That said, if a company states that their weekend is Friday and Saturday and counts them in their vacation calculation then they are violating the law. On the other hand, if a company states that their only weekend day is Friday and counts Saturdays in their vacation calculation, then they are fine.

  4. What fines..
    Day off for expat workers is only of one day? Why?
    And for saudis two days..
    This is the worst possible management.. do something for this; it a humble request..

  5. This is the problem of ksa…..weekend definition is separate for expat and national.anyway all companies will not follow as usual this new rule also.thanks for publishing.

  6. Our company deducts leave for each day out of Kingdom even if it is a weekend day… what section of labour law states that weekend is not to be included?

    • No one seems to know which section of the law states weekends shouldn’t be deducted from Annual leave- only seems to be a leaked source from MOL.
      No company will change unless it is clear somewhere.

      • First weekend of the leave should not be counted in vacation as it is called “off day” in compensation of a week’s work (Yes, understood that anyone joining on last day of week will also get this off). Having said that, if an employee proceeds for his vacation after completion of 50% of his week, his first weekend during vacation ethically should not be counted as a vacation day. That’s what we do in our company.

    • It depends whether you are employed by a Saudi Company or a foreign company. Also, depends on you Letter of Employment as well as how many days leave you get per annum (could be more days per year including weekends or could be much less excluding weekends). This article is based on Saudi Labour Law and not any foreign Labour Laws IF you’re employed (on contract) by eg a UK or US company. Weekly/daily hours are also different, should places close a few times per day for prayer (then you’re not working the actual hours), whether you take a lunch hour OR whether your (once again) Letter of Employment states that you might be required to work outside of normal hours on occasion.

  7. My company also not giving us weekend salary and public holidays (eid ul fitr and eid ul azha) except we will be available in the office before weekend start or end of weekend.we have friday and saturday off.

  8. I worked in a hosp under MODA for 8 years. we are entitled to have a 30 days annual leave every year. In our 30 days annual leave weekends are included. What section of labor law states that weekend is not included in annual leave?

    • Same here kabayan, it should be 38days paid leave if u exempt saturday and friday, im working in private company allow 30days including friday and satuday

  9. I’m a photographer..my employer doesn’t follow all the rules and regulation in the contract…I don’t have accommodation which separate from them..I worked in the studio 8hrs but when I go home I’m still working as baby setter at night…helper in the morning…my salary is only 1,500. Can you please help me about this matter?

  10. This article is about annual leave which shouldn’t count WEEKENDS.
    It depends on your contract, if you have 48 hrs per week it means you have only one day weekend which is Friday, and if you have 40 hrs per weeks you have 2 days weekend which is friday and saturday. Hope this answer your question.

    • I am working in Ministry of health.
      we have 45 days vacation, our initial and last week ends are not counted as in vacation so 4 days are added to vacation.
      I want to know whether we are allowed 45 WORKING DAYS vacation or what??

  11. Our company made our shifts from 10hrs a day for 6days a week to 11hrs for 6days a week. It becomes more tiring everyday. Now almost half of its employees that have filed vacation leave did not came back because of this reason.

  12. Im working in Saudi services for electro mechanic company..

    In case any one dead also we cant able to get emergency from our company

    Yearly vacation not given

    Forced to do overtime and not giving money

    Forced to work in bakrid and ramadan holidays

    Forced to work 10 hrs during ramadan

  13. i work for the bank with 5 days working days only. and when weekend will be in between your vacation days, it will be counted. 2 weeks vacation means 12 days deduction, 3 weeks – 19 days, and so on … not sure about clear saudi labor law, neither companies

  14. In our company we are working 5 days a week from 8AM to 6PM. Once you get absent during Thursday, you will not be paid for Friday and Saturday. We never complained because this is not clear nor stated in the labor law.

    • That is totally wrong – your company is depriving you of your fixed entitlement. Weekend is a fixed entitlement of any employee. In my company, if you are on vacation and you actually resume on Sunday, you will get Friday and Saturday.

    • Dear,
      Absent is different from taking leave. If you are absent and company deducts for 3 days then company is right. If you take leave on Thursday then company must not deduct for Friday and Saturday.

  15. Doctors and hospital staff also get only 1 day week off in Jeddah Polyclinics. 9 hrs X 6 Days = 54 hrs a week. Is there a different law for hospitals and Polyclinics?

  16. In our comapany ARCC-EEI does not follow every saudi laws even the salary increase they just tell us WE ARE NOT SAUDIS that why we are not covered by the said law NO WORK NO PAY for friday and usual they didnt give back the 10 hrs work but instead we are working 9.5 hours and continuosly cut off our time and days of work

  17. Article is misleading, i am confused, are you talking about some companies which do not give annual leaves, CLAIMING that emplyees have already depleted them in their weekends?
    Does it mean that if i take a one week annual leave (Sunday – Saturday) Sunday back to work, will only consume 5 days from your annual leave if you are enjoying 2 days weekend.!?

    Coz almost all companies i saw in KSA do count that holiday as 7 days deducted from the annual balance!

  18. By the way.. I have a special case
    In our company we have 21 days annual paid vacations including weekends and if you want to make it 30 . They will deduct it from your salary 🙂

  19. But for a few exceptions, majority of the employers, including ministries, government undertakings, government funded organizations, where I have been employed in this country, count the weekends as part of the annual leave for several years now. Similarly, even governmental organizations were charging the expatriates for Iqama renewal and exit-reentry visas for many years before beginning to abide by the directive a just few years back. All these organizations were not declaring National Day as a holiday for very many years. As one HR Manager has commented here, the employers (both Public and Private) will not change unless there is an official notification to all the employers. While the violation by Private sector may not be surprising, even government run or government funded organizations have been flouting these directions with impunity.

  20. Saudi Labor Law
    Article (102):The periods designated for rest, prayers and meals shall not be included in the actual working hours…”
    Article (104): “…….The weekly rest day may not be compensated by cash. (2) The weekly rest day shall be at full pay and shall not be less than twenty-four consecutive hours.”

    This should also indicate that weekends should not be included in calculating the hourly wage for overtime hours. Overtime formula could be either:
    (a) General – monthly salary / 4 weeks) / # hours the employee is expected to work a week per their contract = hourly wage. Overtime rate = hourly wage * 1.5. , or
    (b) Specific – Monthly salary / #business days that month/ 8 = Hourly Wage. Overtime rate = hourly wage * 1.5

  21. My company even gives us no medical,causal or emergency leave. Thus our company has cut a huge amount of money from our salaries so far. There is no one to listen our voice. They have not given us our passports yet even after the government announcement to give passports to the employees. There is no weekend for us. Every month they call us on saturdays too without any reason sometimes. They even don’t give us winter or spring break and create a work which can be done later on on working days easily too. But they want to keep us busy and pressurise us on different occasions. NO salary slip is given to any employee at all.

  22. There is a colossal difference between saying a rule and implementing it honestly.

    There have been many rules and regulations in the past few years but no implementation about them yet. Why? Who is responsible? For instance, 12-month salary, casual leave, medical leave, sick or emergency leave for an employees, passport to be kept with employees only, medical insurance fee must be paid by the employer only, and the employee’s family medical insurance fee must also be paid by the employers, no extra work which is not in the agreement, family accommodation must be given provide by the employer or house allowance and conveyance allowance must be paid by the employer only. Unfortunately , in the view above, there has not been a single implementation so far in the whole KSA particularly in Jeddah.

  23. Our company doesn’t count weekend as anual vacation but has reduced the number of days of pay leave from our analysis leave. I work at Al Faisaliah hotel

  24. Guys,please continue working as usual,dont get excited after reading this article.this is just publicity for display. I am sure you all know what the rules dont apply to expats.Have a good time Alhamdulillah.

  25. What about illegal, illegitimate practice by the some employers, who only count working days and apy only for those days for which they worked,they also deduict the amount from the employees for the government approved leaves,holidays example Haj holidays, summer holidays, Eid holidays,holidays on raiony days, which is not ony against the law, it also against the islamic or sharia law, these employers have no fear of Allah and respect for the LAW of the land. Most surprising thing is that the employees in the finance and administration are supporting the ptactice isn’t the shame? and what impression we are leaving on other communities.

  26. What I have noticed in KSA is most of staff especially Arabic do not care about the benefit of Company and they fill all positions with their unqualified relatives which causes huge loses to the companies revenue and some time companies are in total loss….and these people impose double standard policies. And, almost all owners are having EGO which is destroying them.

  27. Ministry Of Labor Have To Tke Prompt Action
    Work men work
    If we wont work on weekends again the price of all commodities will shoot up.
    SMSA still counting weekends in your annual leave. Please advice.

  28. Kindly clarify that which weekends are the part of annual leave. For example if an employee proceeds on leave for 30 days and his weekends are Friday & Saturday. Will he be entitled to the weekends falling at the begining & at the end of his leave or he will also be entitled to the weekends falling in between his annual leave period.

  29. Assakamu alaikum

  30. We have no day off in 1 month and 10 hours duty .but our contract is same as per sechudule .can it possible company give a day off for us in 1 week .
    Plz give me advice

  31. what about school we still have to come in the every saturday if we can not come they cut salary. and even its a holiday we also let them work at school if we dont come cut salary also.

  32. Good day,

    I am working in Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency as an O&M (Operation and Maintenance) with my agency (to be mention when we will reached by email) we have a similar Day(s) Off (1 day off friday only) with other employee who’s dropping comment at this page,could it be violating the saudi labor law for forcing us to work every (saturday)? or it would be continually happen. thanks for the immediate action/reply for this matter.

    Best Regards
    Concerned Citizen

  33. See how many complaints are here. The Ministry of Labor should look into the complaints reported here as well as open up a website for employees to report their complaints.

  34. How about us sir.. we are currently working here at SGS saudia ground services riyadh.. we only have 1 day of in a week and this month they are forcing us to work on our day off.. if we will not come they put us absent.. is it a violation or not?

  35. Saudi Lbor Law Article (104) states:
    (1) Friday shall be the weekly rest day for all workers. After prpoer notification of the competent labor office, the employer may replace this day for some of his workers by any other day of the week…. the weekly rest day may not be compensated by cash.
    (2) The weekly rest day shall be at full pay and shall not be less than twenty-four consecutive hourse.
    In the ligth of above, any company does not comply with above Article shall be considered violating Saudi Labor Law.

  36. I have so many issues in my company. No weekend offs for us employees. More than 8 hours daily work. What shall we do with our concerns?

  37. Hello Sir, I would like to know if this is real? Are those private companies aware of with this Labor law? Fridays are always counted in our 30 days paid annual leave. IF this is the case, extra 4 or 5 days should be added as unpaid leave, Am I right or please correct me. – Thanks.

  38. how many days shall a private comapny give off for eid al fitr? our company is giving only on the day of eid and the day after if eid is on 6th then we have off only on 6th and 7th, and if eid al fitr is on july 5th then we have 5th 6th and 7th.

    is this correct , because some where i read according to saudi labor law it has to be 4 days holiday for eid al fitr.

    please reply thanks a lot

  39. Is this for real? I’m working in a clinic and our clinic manager said that weekends is also counted in annual leave. So if that’s the case, is this considered as a violation? I’m planning to take my 30days annual vacation this December 2016 and in that 30days, weekend is also counted. Please answer my queries so I’ll know my rights.

  40. Most of us get 30 days annual leave in the ministry of health, if we start holiday on 1st of a month, it ends on 30th. If weekends are not to be counted in this, we should get 6 extra days, and the holiday should be upto the 6th of the next month. But this doesn’t happen.

  41. Just want clarify something, our company is affiliated with private company (Stc), we usually change our dayoffs (Routation) defends on stc schedule, but every month they forcing us to work for 8 consecutive days. But in our contract Fridays is our official dayoff and working for 6 days per week. Also in our country we sign for 30days annual leave, but here they also force us to sign the new contract which stated that we only have 21days annual leave and Friday and Saturday is counted to 21days. Need to your advice regarding this matter. Thanks a lot!

  42. is it possible to complain stc if they are giving 8days straight work with 1 day off ? where the law clearly states that working hours should only be 48 hrs ? whats the best approach for this?

  43. im already 6years here in saudi arabia and my company has giving us 8hrs working time+4hrs ot every day..no day off but friday is counted as 12hrs full ot..but recently two days ago a memo has been released saying now friday is counted as ordinary working days only..is that legal??? what should we do?????