Al-Rajhi extends coronavirus related Labor Law procedures to 9 months

October 05, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi issued a decision requiring the extension of the procedures mentioned in Article 41 of the Executive Regulations of the Labor Law to 9 months starting from the date on which the state took the measures mentioned in paragraph one of the same article.

Article 41 of the Labor Law includes all workers in establishments and sectors affected by the precautionary measures taken to stem the spread of coronavirus and that are stipulated in Article five of the Labor Law.

Some categories or sectors are excluded from this in line with the exemptions given by an order issued by the regulatory authority. Application of Article 41 needs to have a consensus between the worker and the employer as a requirement.

It is noteworthy that the decision to extend the procedures mentioned in Article 41 comes in order to serve the public interest to preserve the stability and gains of the labor market, and to safeguard the interests of both the owners of establishments and workers in the private sector.

In April this year, the ministry amended the Labor Law to tackle the coronavirus pandemic situation. Accordingly, Article 41 has been inserted in implementing the Executive Regulations 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); and implementing a period of unpaid leave.

The Article 41 came into force from April 6 and it 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 general situation similar to the current pandemic situation.

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