RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has updated the rules with regard to allowing domestic workers to transfer their services to a new employer without the consent of their present employer.

The ministry spelled out circumstances under which the transfer of service will be allowed and for this some paragraphs of its previous decision have been updated and new paragraphs added. 

The previous ministerial decision stipulated in its first article implementation of the provisions of Article 15 of the Labor Law regulations related to domestic service workers and the like. Under this article domestic workers can have final exit at the end of the contractual relationship.

The update was made in the second article of the Labor Law regulations. According to the update, domestic workers can transfer their services to a new employer without the consent of their current employer under the following circumstances:

- It is proven that there has been a delay in the payment of wages of domestic worker for three consecutive or intermittent months without any genuine reason attributed to the domestic worker

- Failure to receive the domestic worker from the port of arrival or from the shelters within 15 days from the date of her arrival in the Kingdom

- Failure of the employer to issue residency permit (iqama) for the domestic worker, or renew it even after a lapse of 30 days from its expiry date

- Employer assigns services of the domestic worker to others

- It is proven that the domestic worker has been assigned to dangerous work that threatens his/her health or safety

- It is proven that the employer or a member of his family has abused the domestic worker

- There is a complaint by the domestic worker against the employer and the employer prolongs the process of examining the complaint

- Employer files an incorrect runaway (huroob) report on the domestic worker

- Failure of the employer or his representative to appear before the domestic workers’ dispute settlement committees for two sessions

- Absence of the employer due to his travel, imprisonment, or any other reason and that results in his inability to pay the domestic worker’s wages.

The following two paragraphs have been added to Article Two of the Labor Law regulations:

- It is proven that the services of the domestic worker have been transferred to another employer without his or her knowledge or consent

- The termination of the labor contract by the employer during the probation period.

The amendment to the ministerial decision aimed to regulate the domestic labor sector, and improve the contractual relationship, which contributes to raising the efficiency and flexibility of the recruitment process of domestic workers and preserving the rights of employers.

This decision comes within the framework of the ministry’s constant endeavor to make the Saudi labor market in its various sectors more attractive, keeping pace with the best job markets in the world.

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