• Publish date: Tuesday، 11 July 2023

In Saudi Arabia, domestic workers' rights and obligations are governed by various regulations and policies implemented by the Saudi government. These regulations aim to protect the rights and ensure the well-being of domestic workers within the country. However, it's important to note that despite these regulations, there have been reports of instances where the rights of domestic workers have been violated. It is crucial for both employers and employees to be aware of their rights and obligations to create a fair and safe working environment. Here are some key points regarding domestic workers' rights and obligations in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Employment Contract: A written contract must be signed between the employer and the domestic worker before they commence work. The contract should clearly specify the terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working hours, rest days, and duties.

  2. Working Hours: The maximum working hours for domestic workers should not exceed 8 hours per day, with a weekly rest day of 24 consecutive hours. They are also entitled to breaks for meals and rest during the working day.

  3. Wages and Benefits: Domestic workers are entitled to receive their wages as agreed upon in the employment contract. The payment should be made in Saudi Riyals, and the worker should be given a receipt for every payment. Additionally, domestic workers are entitled to end-of-service benefits upon completion of their contract.

  4. Accommodation and Basic Needs: The employer is responsible for providing suitable accommodation, food, and necessary basic amenities to the domestic worker. The accommodation should meet the required health and safety standards.

  5. Health and Safety: Employers are obligated to ensure the safety and well-being of domestic workers. They should provide a safe working environment, including appropriate safety equipment, and address any health issues promptly. Domestic workers also have the right to seek medical assistance when needed.

  6. Privacy and Personal Belongings: Domestic workers have the right to privacy and the confidentiality of their personal belongings. Employers should not confiscate or withhold their personal documents, such as passports.

  7. Rest and Leave: Domestic workers are entitled to annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave as per the employment contract and labor law. They should be allowed to take breaks and rest during their working hours.

  8. Grievance Mechanisms: In case of any disputes or grievances, there are mechanisms in place for domestic workers to seek resolution. They can contact the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development or seek assistance from their respective embassies or consulates.

It is important for both employers and domestic workers to be aware of these rights and obligations and to adhere to them. Additionally, it is recommended that domestic workers maintain regular communication with their embassies or consulates to stay informed about their rights and seek assistance if needed.

What Happens if My Domestic Worker (Maid, Driver, or Nanny) Runs Away?

If your domestic worker runs away, it can be a challenging situation to handle. Here are the general steps you can take in such a situation in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Contact the Authorities: Inform the local police station about the situation and file a report. Provide them with all relevant details, such as the worker's personal information and any supporting documentation, such as the employment contract.

  2. Contact the Domestic Worker's Embassy or Consulate: Get in touch with the embassy or consulate of the domestic worker's home country. Inform them about the situation and seek their assistance. They can provide guidance and support, and may also help establish contact with the worker or their family.

  3. Review Legal and Contractual Obligations: Review the employment contract and relevant labor laws to understand your rights and obligations as an employer. Ensure that you have fulfilled your responsibilities and obligations to the domestic worker as per the contract and applicable regulations.

  4. Assess the Reasons for Running Away: Reflect on the circumstances that might have led the domestic worker to run away. It could be related to working conditions, mistreatment, non-payment of wages, or other issues. Evaluate if there were any violations on your part and consider taking steps to improve the working conditions and address any legitimate concerns.

  5. Cooperate with the Authorities: Assist the authorities in their investigation and provide any requested information or documentation. They will carry out the necessary procedures to locate and resolve the situation.

  6. Review Recruitment Processes: Evaluate your recruitment practices and consider taking measures to prevent similar situations in the future. This may involve using reputable recruitment agencies, conducting thorough background checks, and ensuring transparent and fair employment contracts.

It is important to approach the situation calmly and responsibly. Running away can be a sign of distress or dissatisfaction, and addressing the underlying issues and improving the work environment can help prevent such situations from arising in the future.

What are the legal consequences if I don't report the disappearance of my domestic worker? 

In Saudi Arabia, it is generally expected that if a domestic worker goes missing or runs away, the employer should report the situation to the authorities. Failure to report such an incident may have legal implications and could potentially result in consequences for the employer.

By not reporting the disappearance, you may be seen as non-compliant with the law, which requires employers to fulfill certain responsibilities towards their domestic workers. It is essential to abide by legal obligations and cooperate with the authorities in such cases.

Reporting the disappearance is not only a legal requirement but also helps initiate necessary investigations and efforts to locate the missing domestic worker. It is important to prioritize their well-being and safety.

If you find yourself in a situation where a domestic worker has gone missing, it is recommended to contact the local police station and inform them about the situation. They can guide you through the necessary steps and provide assistance in locating the worker.

Remember that each situation is unique, and it is crucial to act responsibly, follow the law, and prioritize the welfare of the domestic worker.

For more detailed information, contact us at  Law & Order KSA.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this subject is not a substitute for professional legal advice, and you should consult with a qualified legal professional for specific advice tailored to your situation. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information provided, we make no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information, products, services, or related graphics contained for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise from the use of this information. It is always advisable to seek the guidance of a qualified legal professional to address your specific circumstances.

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