New Saudi labour law makes life easier for expats

Dubai, April 24 | Updated: Apr 25 2006, 05:46am hrs
Saudi Arabia has brought in a new labour law with a host of mandatory obligations for employers, including signing a written contract, a move widely hailed by expatriate workers as towards ending their exploitation. The new law which came into effect on Sunday, replaces a 37-year-old legislation. It, however, does not contain any provision to prevent abuse of housemaids.

The law obliges the employer to bear all expenses from the time of recruitment through the workers tenure for payment of residence and work permit fees and their renewal. In case of death of an employee, the employer is also liable to pay for repatriation of the body, Saudi labour minister Gazi al Gosaibi said in a press statement. He said more categories of employees, including domestic workers, will be covered under the new law which regulates the relationship between the employer and employee in a transparent manner.