Worker vacations in the Saudi labor system

The worker has the right to rest from the burdens of work, as being continuously tasked with these duties for a long period of time without breaks can be very strenuous and pose a risk to their health. Therefore, the labor regulations have granted workers various types of leaves and vacations, organizing them in terms of duration, timing of entitlement, method of granting, and more.

There are multiple types of leaves stipulated in the labor regulations, some of which are related to occasions like holidays and national days, while others are not tied to specific events like annual leave.

Regardless of the type of leave, each type has specific provisions outlined in the regulations, and we will present all these leaves, discussing their provisions in detail.

First: Annual Leave:

The worker is entitled to annual leave every year. The employer is not allowed to prevent their employees or any of them from enjoying their entitled leave in the year it is due. The employer must grant them leave without disrupting the workflow. The duration of the annual leave varies depending on the worker’s service. If the worker’s service is less than five years with the employer, the duration should not be less than twenty-one days. It can be more if agreed upon between the worker and the employer. For those who have served with the employer for five consecutive years, their leave should not be less than thirty days. It can be more if agreed upon. This leave is paid in advance.

The worker cannot waive their right to this leave, and any such waiver is considered void. They cannot receive cash in lieu of taking the leave unless the employment relationship ends and they have accrued leave balance, in which case it can be compensated monetarily.

The worker can postpone their annual leave or part of it to the following year with the employer’s approval. The employer can also postpone granting the leave to the worker after the end of the entitlement year for a period not exceeding ninety days. If the circumstances necessitate further postponement, it can only be done with the worker’s written consent, but it cannot extend beyond the following year of the leave entitlement year.

Second: Holidays and Occasions Leaves:

The regulations grant the worker the right to full-paid leave on holidays and occasions. The holidays and occasions leaves are as follows:

1. Eid al-Fitr holiday for four days starting from the day following the 29th day of Ramadan according to the Umm al-Qura calendar.
2. Eid al-Adha holiday for four days starting from the day of Arafat.
3. National Day holiday for one day on the 23rd of September of each year.
4. Foundation Day holiday for one day on the 22nd of February of each year.

Third: Bereavement Leave:

The worker is entitled to full-paid leave for five days upon the death of one of their relatives.

Marriage Leave:

The worker is entitled to full-paid leave for five days upon their marriage.

Maternity Leave:

If the worker is a woman, she is entitled to full-paid maternity leave for three days and for the full duration if she has given birth.


Hajj Leave: The worker is entitled to leave to perform Hajj if they have not done it before. The duration of this leave should not be less than ten days and not exceed fifteen days, including Eid al-Adha holiday. To be eligible, the worker must have worked with the employer for at least two consecutive years, and they can only take this leave once during their employment.


Examination Leave: The worker is entitled to leave to take their exams. The duration of this leave is determined by the actual exam days and is fully paid. However, if the exams are for a repeated year, the leave is without pay. If the employer does not agree to the worker’s enrollment in an educational institution or does not accept their continuation, the leave is deducted from their annual leave days without pay. The worker must apply for leave at least fifteen days before the exam date.

Sixth: Unpaid Leave:

The worker can obtain leave without pay by agreement with the employer. There is no specific duration for this leave as long as the employment contract is suspended for more than twenty days. The suspension of the contract means that its effects are not arranged, and the contract does not end when its term expires if it is suspended. The parties can agree otherwise.

Seventh: Sick Leave:

If the worker falls ill, they are entitled to fully paid sick leave for the first thirty days of their illness. If they need more rest after that, the leave is three-quarters paid, with a maximum of sixty days. If it exceeds that, the leave is without pay for thirty days.

Eighth: Maternity Leave:

Women have the right to maternity leave with full pay for a period of not less than four months and ten days from the date of delivery. If the woman is pregnant, she can extend her leave without pay until she gives birth. For non-Muslim female workers, their leave is only fifteen days.

During the year and not after the year has passed.

This translation provides an overview of the different types of leaves and entitlements for workers as outlined in labor regulations.

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