Saudi Labor Law: Working Hours & Overtime

While working in Saudi Arabia, your employment contract indicates your job description, salary, and other details. It also includes an essential part of your employment: working hours.

In a previous article, we talked about policies on wages, as prescribed under the Saudi Labor Law. Today, we are going to focus on working periods — regular hours, overtime hours, and their corresponding wages. We will also discuss about periods for rest, prayers, and meals at work.

Working Hours & Overtime in Saudi Arabia

What does the Saudi Labor Law say about working hours? Here are some major policies:

Working Hours

  • Employees may not work for more than 8 hours/day or 48 hours/week.
  • During Ramadan, the working hours for Muslims shall be reduced to 6 hours/day or 36 hours/week.
  • For jobs involving “intermittent works,” working hours shall not exceed 10 hours/day. This is reduced to 8 hours/day during Ramadan.
  • For those who are employed as Guards and Janitors, working hours shall not exceed 12 hours/day. This is reduced to 10 hours/day during Ramadan.

Rest Periods

  • Periods for rest, prayers, and meals shall not be included in the actual working hours.
  • During these periods, the employer may not require employees to remain in the workplace.
  • For jobs involving “intermittent works,” employees shall have a continuous rest period of not less than 10 hours every 24 hours.

Overtime Hours

  • The employer shall pay employees for overtime hours. This is an additional amount equal to their hourly wage plus 50% of the basic wage.
  • If the company operates on the basis of weekly working hours, periods in excess of regular hours shall be considered as overtime.
  • Working hours performed during holidays and “Eids” shall be considered as overtime hours.

By understanding the basic rules on working hours and overtime, you can ensure that you are duly compensated for the hours you performed. In addition, you should also be aware of the rights of employees in Saudi Arabia.