Saudi Arabia puts Migrant Workers in Dilemma of Service Benefit

RIYADH: Expatriate workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are facing a deep dilemma. They appear extremely eager to resign from their jobs so as to avail their end of service benefits amid of uncertainty in the job.

According to the Saudi Gazette, migrant laborers are eager to resign from their jobs to avail the services available at the end due to the uncertainty in the job. These employees aren’t feeling threatened with their work but they wish to resign to take advantage of the benefits to protect their years’ earnings.

However, it is to be noted that most of expatriate workers, are employed in private sector and serve considerable service duration, are entitled to receive a handsome amount as end of service benefits upon ending of employment.

The end of service benefits (ESB) is right of worker on the employer in the case of termination of the employment contract, and it is obligatory on the employer to pay the worker at the end of the contract of employment, whether it is fixed-term or indefinite.

The ESB is assessed at half a month pay for each of the first five years and one month pay for each following year based on the last salary. The employee will receive a benefit for year fractions in proportional to the periods he spends at work in accordance with the provisions of Article 84 of Saudi Labor Law. It stipulates that salary used to calculate the benefit is the actual gross salary including all allowances and other elements subject to the exception set out in Article 86 in respect of commissions and percentages.

Article 85 provides that if the work relation is terminated due to the employee’s resignation, he shall be entitled to one third of the benefit after two to less than five consecutive years of service and two thirds of the benefit after five to less than ten years of service and the whole benefit if his service period reaches or exceeds ten years.

Recently, Ibrahim Al Marzouk, a senior official of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in the Eastern Province, said that “If an employee has not completed two years of service, he is not entitled to claim ESB. ”

The vast majority of workers are not only expecting, but they bank heavily on ESB when they leave their work and return home. However, they are now considering the option to leave because they are looking into an uncertain financial future.

Some companies, in particular the construction sector, are defaulting on the payment of ESB and other benefits. The laborers who returned home are inquiring about their ESB status with their diplomatic mission. Other workers resigned but living in the state to get the amount, they are not even able to get their ESB.

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