Overtime Working Hours in the Saudi Labor System

Overtime work according to Saudi Labor Law

Overtime work according to Saudi Labor Law are determined in accordance with a set of standards and controls that preserve the rights of workers and protect them from any abuse, as employers in some specific professions may require workers to remain working for additional working hours than stipulated in the law.

Therefore, the Saudi Labor Law regulates in its articles the nature of overtime work, and stipulates that it must be paid. The Saudi Ministry of Labor seeks to make many continuous amendments to the labor system, in order to protect workers and guarantee their rights to prevent any problems or disputes between workers and employers in the workplace. Public or private sector.

What Are Overtime Hours in the Saudi Labor System?

Overtime hours are hours that exceed the actual working hours, as the Saudi Labor Law stipulates the number of basic working hours, which must not exceed 8 hours per day or 48 hours during the week.

However, the employer may ask workers to remain at work for a period exceeding the basic time specified in the employment contract, in emergency circumstances and cases.

Therefore, the Saudi labor system seeks to guarantee all workers’ rights by setting a maximum limit on overtime hours, in addition to giving them the right to receive additional pay for their work, which helps motivate workers to perform their work after the end of the actual working time, and thus enhance productivity. .

Cases of Overtime work According to Saudi Labor Law

Work is considered overtime if its duration exceeds the number of basic working hours specified by law, as there are a group of cases that fall within overtime hours in the Saudi labor system as follows:

  • All working hours performed by the worker on holidays, holidays, etc.
  • The work is considered overtime if the worker is employed on the basis of a weekly standard and the number of working hours exceeds the actual time agreed upon in the employment contract.
  • In the event of emergency situations that require the worker to remain at the workplace to carry out his job duties.

Employees may not work for more than five consecutive hours without receiving a rest period of no less than half an hour. It must also be noted that the rest period does not fall within the working hours agreed upon between the employer and the workers.

Conditions for Assigning Workers to Overtime Work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom’s labor law specifies some conditions that must be followed by employers who wish to keep workers at work for more than the actual working hours, which can be summarized in the following points:

  • The worker must be assigned the additional time by submitting a written request that must be stamped with the institution’s seal and issued by the responsible authority. It is necessary to inform the worker of the amount of additional hours, so that the request is made legally and helps guarantee the rights and duties of both parties.
  • The employer must pay the worker overtime wages in an amount equivalent to 50% of his basic salary.

The Saudi Labor Law allows business owners to employ workers for up to 80 hours per month without the need to pay additional wages, but if the hours exceed this limit, the worker is entitled to the prescribed increase.

How Are Overtime Hours Calculated in the Saudi Labor System?

The law clarifies the method for determining the appropriate wage for overtime according to the number of hours the worker works in addition to the basic hours, which is equivalent to the basic hourly wage plus 50% of the basic salary.

The amount for overtime hours can be calculated through a very simple equation as follows:

Number of additional hours * (total wage including hourly allowances + (basic hourly salary multiplied by 50%))

For example, if the worker’s basic salary is 2,400 riyals and the amount of the total salary including all allowances is 3,600 riyals, and he works 8 hours a day, and the employee works about 5 additional hours during the month, the overtime wage can be calculated by applying the equation as follows:

5 * (15  + (10 * 50%)) so that the amount due to the worker for his additional work is 100 riyals.

Is it Permissible For an Employer to Increase Working Hours Beyond the Maximum?

Employers can increase working hours to up to 720 hours per year, but if the employer wants to oblige workers to work more hours than the maximum stipulated in the overtime hours articles in the Saudi Labor Law, in this case the worker has the right to refuse.

If the employer abuses his right, the workers may file a complaint with the competent authorities, and the employer will then be subjected to legal accountability, in addition to being subjected to a penalty if it is proven that the workers worked more hours than the maximum, as he may be subjected to a financial penalty that may amount to 10,000 riyals.

Is It Permissible to Increase the Number of Working Hours in all Cases?

The Saudi Labor Law states the cases in which it is permissible to assign workers to additional working hours, where the employer can increase the working period according to the need of the work and the emergency circumstances that may arise, and the workers must also commit to performing their work in accordance with the regulations set by the institution, if this amendment It does not contradict what is stipulated in the law.

Can Workers Refuse Overtime?

The company or institution has the right, in accordance with what is stipulated in overtime hours in the Saudi labor system, to employ workers for additional hours in exchange for financial compensation, and the worker may not refuse this as long as it is within the limits of the law and as long as it is not proven that there is any abuse on the part of the employer in using this right, which is The law guaranteed it.

Categories Excluded From Overtime Hours in the Saudi Labor Law

A variety of workers or employees are excluded from overtime hours in the overtime work according to Saudi Labor Law system, as these categories can be summarized in the following points:

  • Agents authorized by the employer or who represent him in exercising some of his powers granted to them.
  • Workers working in guarding or cleaning.
  • Workers who work in supplementary or preparatory work that must be carried out before the end of the work time or even after the specified time for work.

This category of workers is entitled to receive additional wages, in the event that the number of their working hours is increased to the maximum, and the amount of the increase is calculated according to the equation stipulated in the law.

Finally, we can say that additional working hours in the Saudi labor system preserve the rights of employees or workers in various institutions and companies, whether in the government or private sector, and protect them from any abuse by business owners.

The employer has the right to employ workers for additional hours in accordance with the controls set by the Saudi Labor Law, and in the event that he violates what is stipulated, he exposes himself to legal accountability and the imposition of financial penalties on him, in addition to financially compensating the workers.

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