Working hours as per Saudi Labor Law

working hours

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Many a times, it happens that an employer is tasking the employee more hours than allowed by the Saudi Arabian Labor law.

This usually happens because lack of awareness of the provisions in the labor law by employee.

Keeping this in mind, we list below the relevant portion of labor law for your benefit:

Article (98):
A worker may not actually work for more than eight hours a day if the employer uses the daily work criterion, or more than forty-eight hours a week if he uses the weekly criterion. During the month of Ramadan, the actual working hours for Muslims shall be reduced to a maximum of six hours a day or thirty-six hours a week.
Article (99):
The number of working hours provided for in Article (98) of this Law may be raised to nine hours a day for certain categories of workers or in certain industries and jobs where the worker does not work continuously. It may likewise be reduced to seven hours a day for certain categories of workers or in certain hazardous or harmful industries or jobs. Categories of workers, industries and jobs referred to shall be determined pursuant to a decision by the Minister.

Article (100):
In firms where work is done in shifts, an employer may, with the Ministry’s approval, increase the number of working hours to more than eight hours a day or forty eight hours a week, provided that the average working hours in three weeks time shall not be more or less than eight hours a day or forty eight hours a week.

Article (108):
The provisions of Articles (98) and (101) of this Law shall not apply to the following cases:
(1) Persons occupying high positions of authority in management and policy, if such positions grant the persons occupying them authority over workers.
(2) Preparatory or supplemental works which must be completed before or after commencement of work.
(3) Work that is intermittent by necessity.
(4) Guards and janitors, excluding civil security guards.
The Regulations shall specify the jobs listed under paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of this Article and their maximum working hours.

Article (106):
An employer may not comply with the provisions of Articles (98), (101) and Paragraph (1) of Article (104) of this Law, in the following cases:

(1) Annual inventory activities, preparation of the budget, liquidation, closing of accounts and preparations for discount and seasonal sales, provided that the number of days during which the workers work shall not exceed thirty days a year.
(2) If the work is intended to prevent a hazardous accident, remedy its impact or avoid an imminent loss of perishable materials.
(3) If the work is intended to meet unusual work pressure.
(4) Eids, other seasons, occasions and seasonal activities specified pursuant to a decision by the Minister.
In all of the above cases, the actual working hours shall not exceed ten hours a day or sixty hours a week. The maximum overtime hours allowed per year shall be determined by a decision of the Minister.

So, what does the Saudi Labor Law say on overtime ? Click here to continue…


  • SM

    Thanks for replay sir,yesterday I gave my resignation letter to head of management.but I didn’t take a copy of that’s letter,he say my boss order you just sleep in room till 1st April 2013. So I replay him I am not here to sleep.firstly I tell you detail,sir our employer changes contract 2-3 time till the last contract I sign was when I arrive from vacation 23.07.2013 the contract is two years I complete only 8 months.all I worked in this company was waste is there any chance for getting service benefits. My employer force me to sign if you don’t sign you won’t get salary so I sign it every time. My actual joining date is 23.02.2004 and I didn’t get any service benefits.I also read a overtime article in this site it says to work only 8 hour’s a day but we were work 12 hour’s a day till now can get overtime also. I heard that my employer will take my Iqama and let me sleep in room for 1-2 months.what to do now.

    • SaudiXpert

      As mentioned earlier, we suggest you contact your embassy for assistance. For contact details of your embassy see
      Alternately you can contact labor department on
      Also the labor department has Expatriates Work Care department 01-2104588.

      • Tech

        Sir SAUDIxpert!
        good day! I would like to ask about the legal actions that we can make about our working hours this ramadan. According to our manager we will start the morning shift by 4:00pm-1am morning, and evening shift by 6:00pm-3am morning. A total of 9hours during ramadan instead of 6hrs. Thank you so much for any information that you can advice.

  • roanne mae sarmiento

    I am a Dental Nurse and I am working 9 hours a day and 6days a week, a total of 54 hours per week. As you have mentioned earlier it should be only 8 hours a day and not more than 48 hours per week. How come that my employer is letting us work for 54 hours per week knowing that he is a Muslim? And when Ramadan began I work from 12nn to 3:30pm and resume again at 8:30pm up to 1am, a total of 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, as mentioned in your article it should only be maximum of 6 hours a day.

  • Staffnurse

    Hi im a staff nurse in a private hospital…. We are working 7days a week … In our monthly roster they put over time instead of our rest days can we complain this ??? Where and how?? Thankyou pls reply

  • Ahsan Qadeer

    Is there any article about 03 Hours Break in afternoon in summer session in Riyadh ???

  • Mohd Tariq

    It is my duty to inform you that in our contrcting company there is a violation of your law. Under Article 98 ,100 it is mention that not to work more than 8 hours and in some cases 9 hours but we are working for 11 hours including lunch of 1 hour and they are giving us salary of only 8 hours this is completely unjustice.Please help me I just have last hope on your rule & regulations.
    Thank you
    Mohd Tariq

  • Marlon Tolentino

    Our company same we work 12 hour but they don’t give a single money for overtime pay ….

  • Marlon Tolentino

    I am block operator here in jeddah everyday we work 12 hour no two hours food allowance this company violated to much in your law.

  • Ricardo Cacharo Jr

    I am working as Secretary in a government sector. I am working 6 days a week, a total of 48 hours per week. Is there any violation of my company?

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