Saudi Ministry of Labor, end of service award calculator

Saudi Labor Law

Section Four: End-of-Service Award

Article 84
Upon the end of the work relation, the employer shall pay the worker an end-of-service award of a half-month wage for each of the first five years and a one-month wage for each of the following years. The end-of-service award shall be calculated on the basis of the last wage and the worker shall be entitled to an end-of-service award for the portions of the year in proportion to the time spent on the job.

Article 85
If the work relation ends due to the worker’s resignation, he shall, in this case, be entitled to one third of the award after a service of not less than two consecutive years and not more than five years, to two thirds if his service is in excess of five successive years but less than ten years and to the full award if his service amounts to ten or more years.

Article 86
As an exception to the provision of Article (8) of this Law, it may be agreed that the wage used as a basis for calculating the end-of-service award does not include all or some of the commissions, sales percentages, and similar wage components paid to the worker which are by their nature subject to increase or decrease.

Article 87
As an exception to the provisions of Article (85) of this Law, the worker shall be entitled to the full award if he leaves the work due to a force majeure beyond his control. A female worker shall likewise be entitled to the full award if she ends her contract within six months from the date of her marriage or three months from the date of giving birth.

Article 88
Upon the end of the worker’s service, the employer shall pay his wages and settle his entitlements within a maximum period of one week from the date of the end of the contractual relation. If the worker ends the contract, the employer shall settle all his entitlements within a period not exceeding two weeks. The employer may deduct any work-related debt due to him from the worker’s entitlements.

Below is the screen shot of the Ministry of Labor, end of service award calculator (please click the screen shot image to the direct link of the Saudi Ministry of Labor ESB calculator). You may fill the details of your employment such as: Type of Contract, Reason for End of Service, Salary and Duration of Service.

Click the “amount” and check the figures of your end of service award on top of the “green calculator.” 

For more relevant info about how to compute your End of Service Award or ESB, please click here>>>> to website.  Quintessentially Saudi – is a multi-portal website dedicated to provide you important and useful information about Saudi Arabia.



Labor Ministry launches portal for expatriates


Labor Ministry launches portal for expatriates

In a bid to prevent workers’ rights violations in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Labor has launched an exclusive Web portal to educate workers about their rights and how to avail them.

640x392_79058_157084The Web portal  launched on Tuesday aims to boost awareness about workers’ rights and the rules that regulate the relationship between the employee and employer in the Kingdom. While the Web portal’s Arabic version has comprehensive information, the English version is still under construction, according to sources in the Labor ministry.

The Web portal comes in the light of several reports of exploitation of expatriate workers in particular, due to lack of legal knowledge. The portal provides useful information related to the contact details of relevant authorities, workers’ rights, contractual obligations and wages, working hours, training, qualification, work responsibility, disciplinary rules and the calculation of end of service benefits.

It also makes provision for special rights for people with disabilities and women workers.

Sources pointed out that one can also lodge a formal complaint through the Web portal. The sources said that the Labor ministry which is fully automated through an electronic system now intends to extend the same facility for workers to improve the working environment and guarantee the rights of employer and employee.

Taken from: Arab News Saudi Arabia News/JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed/Published — Wednesday 17 September 2014


All About Final Exit


A L L  A B O U T  E X I T

Final Exit

Many OFW commenters on our blog working in KSA are asking me what to do when their Saudi employers postponed their leave or final exit (visa) on certain grounds such as: waiting for the arrival of replacement or the worker position should not be vacant or the worker’s presence is necessary pending completion of a current project.

In usual practice, the sponsor can postpone the vacation or exit visa application of their employees taking consideration of work requirements or shall we say “with justifiable reason of the postponement.” However, if the employer asks for more extension after the period of ninety days, the workers’ consent must be obtained in writing (Art. 110 par. 2 SLL) and the worker have the right to say “NO”. In this particular situation the employer has no right to postpone again the leave of the employee. If the employer continues to insist and fails to obey the agreement or ignoring the worker’s plea, the only way for the worker to leave Saudi Arabia is to file a case in Saudi labor courts against the employer, which of course may take several days or perhaps months but surely the worker can leave after the verdict is handed which is clearly favorable to the worker.  

Exit Re-entry Visa

Let’s talk about vacation leave. Since a large number of employees do not return to Saudi Arabia after availing leave, most employers big or small, establishment or companies retain one month salary of their foreign worker or sometimes the worker will shoulder the half cost of airline ticket to compensate visa cost, resident/iqama permit, medical insurance and other expenses incurred in recruiting the worker “as a security precaution” before allowing the worker to go on leave. However, most of the employers will give back to the worker the amount held for that purpose when the worker’s return from leave or vacation. The blogger experienced this kind of internal company policy where you don’t have any choice but to follow the rules.    

surrender iqamaGCC countries, not just Saudi Arabia experiencing this kind of dilemma where expatriates with Exit Re-Entry visa  choose not to return to finish their contract.At present the GCC member countries  are looking for a concrete solution to implement a measure to ensure that workers, who are returning home to their country on leave or with exit re-entry visas, return to complete their contract terms.

 In KSA the following are the usual move of the employer.

1) When the sponsored expatriate traveled outside the Kingdom carrying exit and re-entry visa, the sponsor must revoke the Residence Permit of his sponsored and (secure) a page copy of his passport on which the exit and re-entry visa stamped on.

2) When the foreign worker failed to return back to KSA after two months or depending on the number of days the visa expires; the sponsor must follow-up the Office of  Jawazat (Saudi Passport Office) on which the visa was issued to receive the Iqama and to get a receipt from there containing retrieval of Iqama to deposit it on the Iqama file of the worker.

3) The office of the Jawasat or Saudi Passport Office will update the file status of the foreign worker, such as fingerprints and other personal information and forward the detailed information to the Naturalization and Residency  Division of the Ministry of interior and Saudi Immigration authorities  data base.

4) And if the sponsor got any information that his foreigner sponsored worker who he gave an Exit and Re-Entry Visa returned to the Kingdom with another employer, then the employer will report it to the Office of Investigation and Tracking Foreigners for necessary legal action. Upon apprehension and proven otherwise that a foreign worker violates certain directive from the office of the Jawasat or Saudi Passport Office, then the worker will be subject for deportation to the worker’s home country. Worst the worker will be subjected for jail term until deportation requirement proceedings is complete.

In today’s high-tech Information Technology, it is possible that GCC countries agreed to have common shared database information system where they can exchange names and whereabouts of their nationals and expatriates with criminal offenses or having pending legal action against their nationals and or expatriates.

Surrender Work Permit prior Exit

Last month an announcement made by the Ministry of Interior through the Division of Naturalization and Residency that expatriates residency permit (iqama or work permit) should be surrendered to the regional passport department at least three months or 90 days prior processing of expatriate final exit application visas. A residence permit is a government document issued to Non Saudis and National ID’s for their nationals. 

The question is WHY? The Answer is of course very simple, an expatriate can leave the country only if he/she is cleared of any monetary obligations like bank loans, unpaid credit cards, unpaid landline telephone bills, traffic fines, electricity bills, transfer of car ownership and other financial obligations. If you have bank accounts, be sure to close it and ask for certification from the bank that the account is already closed. 

In such circumstances the worker should request to the employer a photo-copy of iqama with company stamp on it and signature of employer or manager of the company’s Personnel Department. This is very important document to show to the authorities or police checkpoint that can substantiate  the worker’s work permit  is really in the custody of the Naturalization and Residency office as required for Exit visa application.

If you’re done with all your outstanding monetary obligations, always ask for an official receipt or certification as proof of payment. The worker must not forget to bring in the airport  copies of sale documents such as Deed of Sale, Sale Agreement or Transfer of Ownership of any property that the worker previously owned.  (BongA

Note: You can also read here>>>> Final exit procedure from Saudi Arabia. 

Steps to rectify status during the three-month grace period


Steps to rectify status during the three-month grace period in view of implementation of Saudi Labor Law amendments 

The grace period instituted by the Saudi government is meant for violations of the Saudization policy (nitaqat) – specifically those foreign workers who work for employers who are not their sponsors, and those employers who do not employ enough Saudi nationals. Those who fall under this category have violated Saudi labor law. The Saudi government will go after the erring original sponsor, the current employer and the illegal worker if they do not correct their papers once the grace period is over.

PHL Ambassador to Saudi Arabia H.E. Amba. Ezzedin Tago w/ was Labor Minister H.E. Adel Faqieh (Mar. 25, 2013)

PHL Ambassador to Saudi Arabia H.E. Amba. Ezzedin Tago w/ Labor Minister H.E. Adel Faqieh (Mar. 25, 2013)

The Filipino community is strongly urged to read the FAQ prepared by the Embassy with regard to this grace period.

Those who have long run away from their original sponsors and no longer have valid residency permits (iqamas) or passports are a different category altogether. Theirs is an immigration problem. There are existing procedures – under Saudi law – for addressing their issues.

The Embassy is always ready to provide appropriate advice and assistance in any case. However, their respective solutions – for those violating the labor law and for those violating immigration law are different.

For example, for workers affected by the Saudization policy, they need to either return to their original sponsor or to transfer sponsors to their actual current employer by following existing regulations. Those working as “freelancers” or under a dependent’s visa should keep in mind that it is a violation to work with a freelance or dependent visa. They should take steps to transfer their iqama immediately before the end of the grace period.

On the other hand, for workers falling under the immigration problem category, they will need to be ready with their last valid residency card (iqama) and valid passport or a copy of the last passport. If they do not have a copy of their iqama, they can obtain a print out of the information from the Jawazat.

DSC01545They will also need to get in touch with their original sponsors when they first arrived in Saudi Arabia and request from them a No-Objection Certificate. And they will need to go to the General Directorate for Passports (Jawazat) for the payment of fines and penalties, and the airfare for the flight to the Philippines.

Lastly, as of this time there is no amnesty for foreign nationals illegally staying in Saudi Arabia. It was only a proposal made by Labor Minister Adel Fakieh, which is still under study by various concerned Saudi agencies.

The Embassy has previously advised the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia not to believe in rumors that there is an amnesty. The Embassy will advise the Filipino community once it receives official notification from Saudi government authorities of any development with regard to immigration law. There is also no truth to the rumor that the Philippine Government will shoulder all expenses (fines and airfare) for the repatriation of overstayers.

The Embassy will soon disseminate the translation of procedures for various transactions with the General Directorate of Passports, and will also disseminate any official notices it receives from the host government.(END)

PhilEmb Press Release 054-2013 

Nitaqat is the name of the game


The guidelines are clear; in order for foreign workers to transfer their iqamas from “red” or “yellow” companies to “green” companies”, they have to meet the four conditions set by the Ministry of Labor.

Click to Check your Company Category

First, you must have been in the Kingdom for over six years. Second, you must have completed at least two years of service in the company that you wish to leave. Third, your transfer is possible only after the expiry of your work permit. Fourth, you are eligible to transfer to the “green” zone company only if your employer is still in “yellow” or “red” category.

What comes next is just paperwork. Once you have met all the above four requirements, you need to produce a request from the new company seeking your service to the labor office to finalize transfer procedures. The new system is supposedly designed to protect the rights of both foreign workers and employers.

Well, what is all this noise about color designations?

Companies in the “green” and “premium” categories are both lucky and happy; they abide by Saudization rules and enjoy a lot of benefits and incentives. They will be able to recruit foreign workers unless they fall below the “green” level and do not apply for such visas more than once every two months. Premier companies will also be allowed transfer of visas and change of profession of their foreign workers, but the service would be available only once every two months. In addition, they can get the transfer of visas of employees from other companies, without fulfilling the condition of completing two years with the first employee. Furthermore, “green” companies can hire any worker from “red” or “yellow” companies without their consent. Is this good or what?

On the other hand, companies in the “yellow” zone would be given a grace period of nine months, but they would not be able to extend their foreign employees’ work visas beyond six years.

“Red” zone companies are in serious trouble; they would be granted six months to improve their status by hiring more Saudis before facing punitive actions and will not be able to renew their foreign workers’ visas. For example, if a construction company does not have 10 percent Saudis on its payroll then it would end up in the “red” zone. That’s not all; companies in the “red” would be banned from change of profession, transfer of visas, issuance of new visas and opening files for new branches. I have a feeling that “red” companies hate change and love it at the same time; they want things to remain the same but get better.

Will this ultimately lead to the nullification of sponsorship system all together? It probably would, otherwise the five years spent by the Ministry of Labor to complete the study would go in vain.

The Good news and the bad news…… read more>>>>>>>>>>

Saudi Ministry of Labor Presentation and FAQ on Nitaqat


Philippine Embassy Advisory 110/2011 (Updated 6 Nov. 2011)

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh attaches a presentation by the Ministry of Labor and a booklet of frequently asked questions on Nitaqat, a program by the Saudi Ministry of Labor to provide incentives to private sector entities to nationalize jobs.

The Embassy asks the Filipino community to disseminate the attached presentation and FAQ, and to read it very carefully to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.

Following are excerpts from the FAQ:

  • The Ministry of Labor recognizes and appreciates the role of expatriates in fostering economic growth in the Kingdom. The Ministry understands that the new program will have direct and indirect effects not only inside the Kingdom but also on labor markets of expatriate’s countries of origin.
  • NITAQAT is not designed to threaten the presence of expatriates; however, the ministry understands the cautionary perception which many expats might have of the program. We believe the program is fair to all stakeholders, including expatriates. Furthermore, expatriates can play an important role in making their current companies more stable if they start encouraging their employers to recruit more Saudis.
  • There will be certain change of employment preferences following the implementation of Nitaqat and some sectors will be affected by the program more than others, but even if we provide jobs for all unemployed Saudis, the private sector will still be in need of millions of expatriates.
  • The second phase started in 10th September 2011 when Nitaqat was implemented and some services are provided only to companies in Green and Excellent range and suspended for entities in the Yellow and Red ranges.
  • The third phase starts on the 26th of November, 2011 when employees of companies in Red range are allowed to move to companies in Green and Excellent range without their employer consent, and if they continue in working for companies in Red then their work permits will not be renewed once it’s expired.
  • Starting 23rd February 2012 employees of entities in Yellow range are allowed to move to entities in Green and Excellent range without their employer consent, and if they decided to continue working for the same employer then the work permit renewal is conditional to them having spent 6 years or less in KSA. If they want to stay longer, they would have to move to entities in the Green or Excellent range/band.
  • The Ministry of Labor guarantees by all means the rights of expatriates according to their contracts. In case the expatriate, belonging to Red or Yellow entities, finds a new job in a Green or Excellent entity, then he/she would follow standard procedures related to transfer of services except acquiring employer’s consent.   In case of any disputes, especially concerning employee rights, the expatriate must present his/her case to the labour office committee of labour complaints.
  • With the inception of Nitaqat, the Ministry of Labor, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, unified the validity of both work and residency permits. Both are now issued and expiring simultaneously. The renewal window for any of these permits now starts 3 months before expiry. (Note: Renewing aforementioned permits is only allowed for expatriates working in Green and Excellent entities).
  • Nitaqat does not apply to domestic labor.

According to the Ministry of Labor, there are 2 million domestic or household labor. There are another 2 million foreign expatriates working in entities with 9 or less employees, and Nitaqat will not have an impact on them. The number of expatriates working in entities with 10 or more employees is 5 million and 50 percent of the business entities employing them are in the Green and Excellent range. They will able to renew work permits. The rest will be given the freedom to move to the Green or Excellent employer if they want to renew their work permit. Nitaqat will provide expatriates mobility from Red or Yellow to Green and Excellent entities without their employers consent.

At present, anyone could visit the Ministry of Labor website and inquire if their company falls in the Red, Yellow, Green or Excellent range. The Ministry of Labor will soon launch a service for expatriate to inquire by SMS or text message.####

Huroob-Saudi Labor Law

Huroob is a common phenomenal in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia now. All categories of employees included in Huroob menace irrespective of profession, status, wealth. Surprisingly, among Huroob victims, 10 % belong to the high profile job category. Only 1 % fights against illegal Huroob and rest of the 99 % leave the Kingdom to their home country through Tharheels with frustrated mind and empty savings.
Huroob is not defined in Saudi labor law. It is an Arabic term which means Absconder/Escapee. It is a kind of termination of work contract in a special situation. It is true that, as per Saudi labor law a Sponsor/ employee has to report his expatriate employee’s absence in employment site for a specified period of time to the passport authorities to declare him as Huroob (Absconder / Escapee), in order to escape liability of illegal activities of the employee during his absence. It is mandatory in Saudi labor law. Otherwise the sponsor will be penalized. Unfortunately now a day’s many sponsors misuse this protective provision of law for ulterior motives. If one becomes Huroob, his residency permit in Saudi Arabia will be cancelled and his stay in the kingdom will be illegal. In this circumstance, his all rights and benefits as a legal employee will be cancelled and he can leave the country only through Deportation (Tharheels) centers.
In Saudi Arabia, the Sponsor (Kafeel) has immense controls over his foreign worker. The Sponsor can only take work permit, Resident permit (Iqama) and Exit / Re-Entry visa of the employees legally. Even though Saudi labor law has given many rights to worker, but many of them cannot avail directly by the worker because of these controls. So if a person wants to return to his mother country, he has to depend Sponsor or Labor Court. Even though Saudi authorities prohibit taking possession of Passport of the worker by their Sponsor/employer, around 99 % of the employers possess the passport of their employees and give only Iqama with them. This is to prevents the worker run away from his employer, even if in the worst cases and he has to depend his employer in case of Exit.
Misuse of Huroob provision: Sometimes the issue of Huroob may be very complicated. The authorities cannot identify the real victims and problem makers in many cases. Some employers misuse this provision in a very cleaver manner. Somebody use this legal provision as an opportunity. If an employee is going to approach labor court against his employer for nonpayment of salary, mistreatment or any other causes, the employer may make a complaint against the worker stating that the worker did not report to him for the last few days consequently worker shall be declared Huroob and consequently the sponsor will be escaped from the allegations and payments and the Huroob employee will be deported to his home country at the State expense also.
Many allegations have come out in regard to the mediators/agents also in between sponsors and worker. Many occasions the mediators/agents mislead sponsors for their own profit motive. Sometimes some sponsors procure work visas from the Saudi Ministry of Interior to recruit expatriate workers to Saudi Arabia. They sell these visas to local agents in Asian countries etc, and make a high profit. When employee reach in Saudi Arabia, the mediator / agent will mislead and Saudi sponsor submit application to declare him as a Huroob, so that the Saudi sponsor can approach the authorities and ask for the same number of visas again that he made Huroob. Some Saudi sponsors themselves doing like this for getting new visa’s.
Legal provisions in Saudi Labor Law: Articles’ 74 to 83 deal with termination of work contract. It is stated that there should be a valid reason behind all terminations and other stringent conditions in favor of the employees as well as protect the rights of employees as well as employers. Saudi labor law does not discriminate rights of employee/ expatriate/ employer etc. it is a fair law. Some clever persons are behind the sabotage of these noble provisions.
Thanks to Expat CornerPlease click to read more >>>>

Novel way of misusing labor law

Novel way of misusing labor law

Exit Re-entry Visa Stamped in the Passport

Legal experts will be watching closely a case in Jubail in which a expatriate worker leaving the Kingdom for good discovered his former employer had skirted a new Saudi labor law by giving him an exit/re-entry visa instead of a final exit visa. The difference may, to the untrained eye, seem inconsequential. However, according to the new Saudi law, an exit/re-entry visa instead of the required final exit visa will block an expatriate worker from returning to the Kingdom on a new employment visa.

Under the revised law, the no-objection certificate previously required of companies for departing employees was eliminated, if they had a proper final exit visa on their passports. By cleverly substituting an exit/re-entry visa for the final exit, companies make it appear as if the employee has not left in good standing. This can preclude the worker from returning to the Kingdom for years in some cases. The final exit visa on one’s passport is seen by Saudi missions abroad as proof that the person has left the company with a clean slate.

Some hapless employees only discover this as their passports are often delivered to them at the airport as they depart; some might not even notice the misuse until reaching their home countries.

Electronic Exit Re-Entry Visa

The reason this deceit has come to light is because a 33-year-old Indian pipe technician who had been with the same company for 13 years discovered the wrong visa at the airport’s immigration counter and went back to his former employers to correct the “mistake” and then return to India with his wife and two children. It was only after speaking to his employer that he learned this was not a mistake but an underhanded way to keep him from coming back to the Kingdom for future employment.

“I never had any complaints against the company,” said the disgruntled pipe technician who has been stranded since October in Jubail with his family, unable to work and unable to leave. read more>>>>>

 By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS Published: Dec 27, 2010 23:58 Updated: Dec 27, 2010 23:58 DAMMAM:

New Labor law in the offing…..

New Labor law in the offing…..

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor unveiled a new bill that would unify contracts in the private sector along with a set of measures that are to be implemented in the future. The new set of measures aims to address workplace relations between the employee and the employer in the private sector.

The ministry’s new measures will focus on reducing labor disputes in the workplace, especially on payment issues. It will also address issues pertaining to job transfers, especially with regard to an employee seeking to change jobs.


The ministry also emphasized that the employment contract has to be made in duplicate with each party retaining a copy of the contract. The Ministry of Labor also said the new measures would include the caveat that no owner of a private sector company in Saudi Arabia’s shall be able to terminate an employee from service due to health problems. Also, the employees can now combine their annual leave to their sick leave.

Business owners will now be required to furnish their employees and workers the termination letter before the actual firing occurs. No owner shall transfer their employees to another location without the employee’s prior knowledge unless it is expressly written into the contract and signed by both parties.

The new bill states that an employee has the right to leave the job if there are any contractual violations, if the employer fails to pay the employee’s salary or subjects a worker to abuse.

Some measures are aimed at streamlining payment of salaries. The Ministry of Labor now states that an employer shall not change their employee’s status from a monthly-based salary to an hourly or daily wage without the employee’s agreement.

The bill also affirms the business owner’s rights to terminate the contract of their workers without compensation in cases of assault or fraud. Employers can terminate employees for disclosing company secrets.


Published: Jul 9, 2010 23:14 Updated: Jul 9, 2010 23:14

The Minutes of the Meeting- OFW Forum

The Minutes of the Meeting – OFW Forum

The Event

The “OFW Forum” was held at New Islamic Center, 2nd industrial Area, Riyadh and started at exactly 9:00 AM. The forum presided by Manuel “Bong”  Amora of KAKAMPI-KSA, the organizer of the said event. The Forum was co-organized by Guardians  NewHope Brotherhood Int’l. Inc. (GNBII) in coordination with the New Islamic Center, 2nd Industrial Area, Riyadh. 

74 participants representing companies and factories around Industrial Areas of Riyadh attended the forum.

The meeting commenced with a Welcome address by the Presiding officer emphasizing how important the forum was.  He informed the attendees that the morning session will focused on the overview of the Kingdom’s culture, customs and traditions and the OFW Forum “Know your Rights and Obligations as OFW in the Kingdom, On-site Labor Education Program of the Philippine Embassy, POLO & OWWA will follow in the afternoon session.

The Participants

The Presiding officer pointed out that OFW rights should be protected whether the OFW is documented or undocumented and OFW grievances should be addressed by the concern Philippine government agencies that oversees the welfare of the OFWs in the Kingdom. He further elaborate that OFWs are the primary concern of the Philippine Mission in Saudi Arabia considering the fact that large numbers of Overseas Filipino Workers are employed in this oil rich region.  He also mentioned that diplomatic talks in these regards between our Philippine Labor Office and Saudi Labor Ministry were one of the many agendas in the past and still currently in progress. He added that it will lead into an understanding of possible well-implemented bilateral labor agreements in the future. Other areas of concerns such as alleged maltreatment and abuse of our Filipina domestic Helpers are issues that are being discussed between the two countries for a better RP-KSA relationship.

Further, he stress a point that Saudi authorities is asking the Filipino community to respect the laws, customs and traditions of the country and not to get involved in any criminal activities, like engage in dealing illicit trafficking of illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages. So with other related crimes that may result into harsh punishment even death.

Left to Right (POLO/OWWA) Welfare Officer Odin Abdula, (ANS)Vice Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes, Vice Consul Atty. Paulo Saret and Bong Amora

The Forum’s theme particularly the banner with two hands together pointing each other in same direction means “Equality” – Rights and Obligations” – “Employee, Employer relationship” where one hand, having given the privilege and the right to work in the Kingdom, also means an obligation to fulfill as expatriate worker and it is important to respect the country’s culture, customs and traditions and obey the Kingdom’s law in accordance with the rules of Islamic Sharia’.

On the other hand, the employer’s obligation to comply the country’s applicable labor laws and international labor conventions is a must – reasonable and within the scope of the contract “both hands have agreed.”

Culture, Customs and Traditions

 Bro. Rasheed Saleh, a Filipino muslim and administrative in-charge of the New Islamic Center during the briefing about the culture, customs and traditions of the Kingdom explained to the participants that Saudi Arabia is characterized profoundly on conservative Islamic culture. He further explained that same with any other nationalities, Saudi’s are friendly, proud of their family, kind and practice good family relationship.  Saudis are very hospitable and generous but private individuals.

Left to Right (POLO/OWWA) Asst. Labor Attache Atty. Cesar L. Chavez, Jr., Welfare Officer Odin Abdula, (ANS)Vice Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes, Vice COnsul Atty. Paulo Saret and Islamic Center Dawa'h Exec. Manager Shk. Marwan Al Hamd

HE  elaborate further that in islamic culture women must wear an abaya (long black robe) over their clothes and should cover their hair as well.  There are no public movie theatres,  segregation of opposite sex with no relation are highly important. For some OFWs depending on their lifestyle and interests in our country,  those side of Saudi  culture could be negative. Though on the positive side Bro. Saleh said  “one can live well in this country  and there is much to explore and discover about Saudi Arabia.”

Alcoholic beverages are illegal throughout the country. The penalty for importing alcohol into the country  is severe and can involve detention and/or public flogging. Drug related cases are among those with heavier penalties. Immorality is a serious offense.

Islam is Saudi Arabia’s only religion,  the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as laid down in the Quran.

Bro. Rasheed Saleh also includes in his briefing the general information of the Kingdom, such as land area, the Hijri calendar, the Arabic language, its national day, education, major cities and other significant  information of the country.

Islam the way of life  

Mohammad Jamal Norvila, a Filipino Muslim from Davao and a teacher of  Islamic faith  in the Muslim Filipino Community in Riyadh explained to attendees that the Islamic Center is not only for Filipino Muslims and other Muslim nationalities, it is also for Christians.

He started by saying that the word “Islam” is an Arabic word which means “submission to the will of God”. Word is from the same root as the Arabic word “salam”, which means “peace”. As such, the religion of Islam teaches that to achieve real peace of mind and surety of heart, must submit with God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law.

The word “Muslim” means one who submits to the will of God, whatever their race, nationality or ethnic background. As a Muslim entails willful submission to God and live according to His message. Some people mistake believe that Islam is a religion only for Arabs, but nothing can be further from the truth. It is also interesting to note that actuality, over 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs.

He explained more that Islam is a religion without any mythology. The  teachings are simple and clear. It is free from superstitions and irrational beliefs. The oneness of God, the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH), and the concept of life after death is the main articles of its faith. They are based on reason and sound logic. All the teachings of Islam flow from those basic beliefs and are simple and straightforward. No hierarchy of priests, no complicated rites or rituals.

He ended his briefings by saying that “each person can approach the Quran directly and translate it into practice. Islam awakens in man the faculty of reason and exhorts him to use his mind. It enjoins him to see things in the light of truth. The Quran advises him to seek knowledge and the call of God to expand his consciousness. Islam is the way of life.”

Afternoon Session


In the afternoon session at 2:00 PM, the Presiding Officer introduced to the “OFW Forum” attendees, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office/Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO/OWWA) officials and Philippine Embassy Officials from Assistance to National Section (ANS).

Philippine Overseas Labor Office/OWWA

1)      Atty. Cesar L. Chavez, Jr. ( Asst. Labor Attache)

Born in Davao City, Graduated Salutatorian at Calinan National High School, Calinan, Davao City. He went to Manila and took his college education at the Philippine College of Criminology. There he obtained his degree of Bachelor of Science in Criminology in 1987. He passed the first licensure examination for criminologist in 1988.

Left to Right (POLO/OWWA) Asst. Labor Attache Atty. Cesar L. Chavez, Jr., Welfare Officer Odin Abdulah, (ANS)Vice Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes, Vice COnsul Atty. Paulo Saret and Bong Amora

In 1991, he pursued Legal Education at the Manila Law College and graduated Cum Laude in 1996 and passed the Bar examination in 1997. He joined the Government service in March 1998 as Legal Officer of the OWWA. Thereafter, he handled various positions as: Chief of the Workers Assistance Division; Chief of the Legal Department; Chief of the 24/7 Operation Center and he was the Special Assistant for Labor Matters of the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

Atty. Chavez is also a part time Professor of Law at the Pamantasan ng Pasay, College of Law for over 10 years teaching Commercial and Labor Law subjects. Married to Gwendolyn S. Gutierrez and they are blessed with 3 children.

2)      Mr. Odin T. Abdula ( Welfare Officer/POLO/OWWA)

( Information about Welof Odin T. Abdula will posted later)

Philippine Embassy (Assistance to National Section- ANS)

1)      Vice Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes 

Vice Consul Roussel Reyes was born on 5 September 1976 in San Juan, Metro Manila. He graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1998. He obtained his Bachelor of  Laws degree from the same institution in 2002 and passed the Bar examinations of 2003.

He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2004 as Foreign Service Officer, Class IV, after passing the Foreign Service Officer Examinations of 2003.

Prior to his current foreign assignment, he was a Principal Assistant in the Office of Legal Affairs of the Department from April 2005 to August of the same year. He was subsequently designated as an Acting Division Director in the office from August 2005 to October 2006. His  first foreign assignment was  in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as Third Secretary and Vice Consul  in October of 2006.

He is married to Mary Michelle C. Reyes and has two daughters.

2)      Vice Consul Atty. Paulo V. Saret

Vice Consul Saret hails from Libon, Albay in the Bicol Region. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree in 1991 from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1998, he graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Laws from San Beda College in Manila. He hurdles the Bar Examinations on the same year and for the next seven years, he was a corporate lawyer for the Government owned Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation or PDIC.

While at PDIC, he took and passed the Foreign Service Officer’s Examinations in 2005 and joined the Department of Foreign Affairs the following year. At DFA head office, Vice Consul Saret served as Special Assitant to Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos Jr.


Questions, Inquiries and Complains during the OPEN FORUM:

1)      4 na taon na ako di pa binibigyan ng bakasyon. Makukuha ko pa kaya ang pamasahe ko noong finish contract ko?

2)      Wala akong day off, kahit biyernes merong trabaho, walang tamang oras ang trabaho.

3)      SR 5,000 na babayaran ng gastos pag punta ko dito.

4)      Ayon po sa mga sabi sabi ay kailangan daw bayaran kami kahit na wala kaming trabaho o hindi naka duty. Maari po bang makuha yong aming sahod o ibibigay po ba yun ng aming komapnya dahil dalawang buwan napo kaming walang trabaho. Maari din po bang pauwiin na lang kami kung wala naming maibigay na trabaho?

5)      In process of releasing magkano ba talaga ang dapat bayaran sa first release? Sa kin po kasi 14,000 SR ang hinihingi katumbas ng 900 SR na sahod ko plus kinaltasan pa ako ng 50 SR monthly sa iqama ko. Bukod pa dun 12 hrs. na trabaho at walang overtime na bayad na ibinibigay sa amin.

6)      Ang Iqama ko 2 years na hindi binigay ng amo ko. Saan poba ako puwedeng mag reklamo? Hindi ako makapag renew ng passport.

7)      Sir,  ang working hours namin ay 12 hrs na kahit prayer time ay nagtatrabaho kami. Ang overtime pay po namin ay di ibinibigay. Ano po ang laban namin? May karapatan po ba kaming magreklamo sa employer?

OFW in Distress with Erick Jocson of Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan, (local chapter of Migrante in Riyadh) and Ka Mario Ben

8)      4 months napo akong walang work, wala man lang sila binibigay na allowance kung di po ako mabibigyan ng bagong work maari po bang pauwiin nalang ako? O kaya bigyan ng release?

9)      Ano po ang nararapat namin gawin kasi po matagal na po kaming stop work. Walang trabaho, makauwi po ba kami kahit hindi natapos ang contract namin at bayaran kami ng company namin?

10)   Kailan po ako mabigyan ng trabaho, 2 buwan na po akong stop work gawa ng na terminate po ako sa aming company? Kung hindi ako mabigyan, pwede ba ako makauwi ng Pilipinas?

11)   Hanngang kalian po ba ako mabigyan ng trabaho ng company  SEDER Services, dahil 2 months na po ako no job? May dapat ho pa akong matanngap na allowance mula sa kompanya? Kahit food allowance lang po dahil wala na po akong pambili ng pagkain? Pati po padala sa pamilya wala narin po.

12)   Anu ang dapat kung gawin kung amo ko ay di kami pina pasuweldo sa tamang buwan o petsa? Maghintay lang ba?

13)   Anu ang gagawin ko pag tapos na ang kontrata ko pero ayaw pa akong pauwiin pero gusto ko ng makauwi agad?

14)   Sa sahod po namin, nagkaltas sila ng basta basta na walang pang  pay slip at kada sahod po namin wala silang maibigay na pay slip.

15)   Mayroon po bang 3 years contract?

16)   Kung puwede po bang umuwi kahit di tapos ang kontrata? O magbakaasyon? Dahil 3 years po ang contract ko.

17)   Ano po ang possible namin gawin, dahil isang buwan na kami hindi binigyan ng trabaho. Dapat po bang bigyan kami ng food allowance kahit wala kaming trabaho? Makatarungan po ba ang ginagawa sa amin? Gusto na po namin magkaroon ng trabaho at kung di kami mabigyan ng trabaho puwede ba kami makauwi? Kahit di pa tapos ang kontrata?

18)   Sabin g Gulf Horizon agency, pagdating naming sa Saudi ibigay ang allowance na SR 200 tapos Sr 100 lang ang ibinigay. Tapos pag sahod namin sobra ang kaltas, wala kami payslip. Hindi kami inaasikaso ng SEDER company pag may probelam kami sa kompanya na pinapasokan namin, kasi subcontractor  lamang kami.

19)   Sub contractor  ang aming kompanya sa MAWARID Company, naterminate ako dahil sa pagsusugal sa loob ng kwarto namin.  Ibinalik nila ako sa company ko na SEDER. Hnaggang ngayon 2 months na ako na walang work. Dapat po ba na bayaran nila ang pananantili ko dito na walang trabaho or pauwiin na lang nila ako.

20)   Ako po ay isang electrician sa TETRATECH Establishment dito sa Riyadh. Ang kontrata kop o ay SR 1,800 + 200. Ngunit pagdating kop o ditto Sr 1,000 + 200 lang po ang pinasahod sa akin. August 25, 2009 po ako dumating dito sa Saudi Arabia.

21)   Talaga po bang di pinapasahod ang First Timer sa loob ng 3 buwan?  

22)   Ano po ang karapatan namin dahil ng umalis po kami ng Pilipinas iba ang kontrata na pinapapirmahan sa min sa kompanya na pinagdalhan sa amin dito sa Riyadh, na parang  ipinasa akami sa ibang kompanya?

23)   Sa POEA, Sr 1,800 ang pinirmahan namin. SR 1,600 lang ang binigay sa amin dito. Ang trabaho naming fabricator welder. Delay pa ang sahod naming hanggang ngayon po, dalawang buwan na mahigit.

24) Paano po kami makakatulong sa mga takas nating mga Filipina Domestic Helpers o kahit hindi mga FDH? Sa mga lalaki po na mga taks, saan po kami makipag ugnayan para mabigyan sila ng pansamantalang tirahan? Ang bahay Kalinga po ba ay para sa lahat ng mga takas?

To be continued:

Salient Features of the Saudi Labor Law

OFW Forum in Industrial Area-Riyadh to tackle Saudi Labor Law

OFW Forum in Industrial Area-Riyadh to tackle Saudi Labor Law
By: Wizbone

19 January, 2010, RIYADH: Alarmed by many complaints on site from Filipino expatriate workers in the Kingdom, a Filipino community organization formed in 2002 in the Industrial Area of Riyadh are conducting a series of forum dubbed as “Know your Rights and Obligations as an OFW in the Kingdom”.

OFW Forum will be held this coming Friday, 22 of January 2010 in the New Islamic Center Auditorium, 2nd Industrial Area, Riyadh at 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino sa Saudi Arabia (KAKAMPI-KSA) decides to re-convene the group task in educating fellow Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in the Kingdom on their rights and obligation as a visitor worker in this oil rich region.

Despite of work related complaints heard from OFWs, Saudi Arabia remained the favorite destination of OFWs comprising 19.8 percent of the total deployed Filipino contract workers around the globe.

Two hands pointing each other's direction is means Equality - “Rights and Obligations” (The Employer-Employee Relationship)

Bong Amora founder of KAKAMPI-KSA said “many of the newly deployed OFWs in Saudi Arabia are in culture shock more specifically on aspects where the host country’s culture, customs and traditions not congruent to the Philippine psyche.”

“The objective of this forum is to impart to OFWs, the Kingdom’s – Islamic Way of Life”. Amora added.

OFW Forum is a joint effort of KAKAMPI-KSA, the New Islamic Center, 2nd Industrial Area under the Directorship of Shk. Mohammad Bin Hamza Al Kurdi and the GUARDIANS NewHope Brotherhood International, Inc. (GNBII).

GNBII Riyadh Chapter  Founder  Luis Cabandez emphasized that “the general goal of the forum is to spread the word as we don’t want more Filipinos to experience what many of us went through in the country whose rules and regulations, policies and labor laws are very different from ours.” “The ultimate purpose of this forum is to guide our kababayans in the right direction as visitors and a foreign worker in the Kingdom.” Cabandez explained. GNBII-Riyadh is a chapter group of GNBII mother organization based in Jeddah.

OFW Forum will illustrate the proper remedial and concrete steps to consider in resolving work related problem on site as well as to avoid systemic constraints and risk of a labor dispute may bring to an OFW.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will educate OFWs about the Kingdom’s Saudi Labor Law. This is in line with POLO/OWWA “On-site Labor Education Program (OLEP)” not only in Riyadh but to other areas in Central and Eastern Region of the Kingdom especially to those places where there are large numbers of OFWs employed.

POLO/OWWA Riyadh is currently headed by Officer in-Charge, Assistant Labor Attache Atty. Cesar L. Chavez, Jr.

A new Labor Attache will be posted soon in Riyadh to replace out-going Labor Attache Resty Dela Fuente.

The Assistance to National Section (ANS) of the Philippine Embassy to be led by Vice Consul Roussel Reyes will also guide the participants regarding the proper procedure or action an OFWs can do to assist fellow OFW in distress, more importantly the run-away.

KAKAMPI-KSA in a statement said “We will also tackle the importance of interpreting the Saudi Labor Law, more particularly to its provisions where rights of OFWs are violated. The Forum also needs to identify recruitment crocodile agencies in the Philippines that only look into their own pocket and not the welfare of the OFWs they deployed.”

Some of the OFWs complain of contract substitution, delayed payment of salaries, poor living conditions, extension of work even after expiration of contract, non-payment of end of service benefits among others.

OFW Forum, “Know your rights and obligations as OFW’s in the Kingdom” is under the auspices of Philippine Embassy in Riyadh. ***


New Islamic Center (2nd Industrial Area-Riyadh)

The law and reality of your contract

The Contract

The Contract

Expatriates working in Saudi Arabia are in an unenviable situation. All of us have fixed term contracts which we sign before taking up an assignment in the kingdom. We just assume that once the contract is extended, we have another term of stay in the kingdom.

I have mentioned in the past the importance of going through your contract terms and conditions very carefully before signing it. What protects you once you land here is only the contract and nothing else. Note that all the important things which matter to the expatriate, your job title, family visa, end of service benefits, virtually all of your benefits and obligations of your sponsor, are all based on your contract.

My attention was drawn to an interesting article in today’s Arab News. This is a question by one of the readers to a lawyer about the status of his contract. The question relates to a “time bomb clause” in the contract by which the employer can terminate the contract at any point of time by giving a month’s notice despite a contract to the contrary. The reply given by the lawyer is 100% correct and I have no reason to dispute it, given that the learned lawyer is a well-respected one in his profession. What I would like to focus in today’s post is what is NOT mentioned in the reply.

For those of us expatriates who have continued to stay beyond the “initial” contract which was signed after entering the kingdom for the first time, you must be careful on what you sign while extending your contract. Clever employers use the word “extension of contract” rather than just “contract”. Expatriates working in Saudi Arabia must be aware of their rights and obligations while extending their contract with the above words. What this means in simple language is explained below.
Excerpt of the above entry  was taken from : ExpatGuru the author of the blog “Working in Saudi Arabia“.