I received an email this morning from my reader about his present employment problem. He signed a contract in the Philippines with a job position as a Secretary. But when he arrived in the Kingdom 8 months ago he was assigned as an office assistant where his work includes janitorial job. He went directly to Saudi Labor office upon advise of friends to file a complaint. However, the SLO refused to acknowledged the English contract he signed in the Philippines.
To enlighten my readers who wish to work in Saudi Arabia, please note that Saudi courts do not recognize contracts signed by recruiting agents or other parties. In cases of bilingual contracts, the Arabic copy is the official one. I advise fellow OFWs that before they sign a new contract upon arrival in the Kingdom, it is very important to obtain an independent English translation of the contract. Usually a contract is written in an A4 size of paper (letter head of the company) where there are 2 columns on it, one for the English and the other is in Arabic language. Be sure that what is written in the English is the same as specified in the Arabic.
The official and binding version of the contract that you sign is the Arabic text. Many OFWs have signed contracts that in fact did not include all of the benefits they believed they were acquiring, worst if the job promised to the worker do not exist. This is a case of contract substitution where a worker is forced to accept alternative work that does not match their skills. It means that job description was substituted of what was originally specified in their initial employment contract signed in the Philippines.
Moreover, an OFW should seek advise first to our Philippine Overseas Labor Office for proper guidance.