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Saudi Arabia Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on March 27, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Saudi Arabia

Vacation (Annual Leave) Quota

21 days

For employees in Saudi Arabia, vacation entitlement varies based on the length of an employee’s service:

  • Employees with 1 to 5 years of service are entitled to 21 days of vacation.
  • Employees with over five years of service are entitled to 30 days of vacation.

Additionally, Muslim employees are eligible for an extra 10 to 15 days of paid religious leave to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj), provided they have completed two years of service. This leave must be coordinated with the employer at the start of the year.

Employees also have the option to request up to ten extra days of unpaid leave annually, which is contingent upon the employer’s consent.

Carry Over

Allowed for certain number of days with the employer’s written consent.

The employer must agree with the employee on the start date of the annual leave, and the payment for this leave should be made in advance. Annual leave can be deferred to the next year only once, and this requires the employee’s written consent. It can’t be postponed beyond that subsequent year.

Payment of Unused Annual Leave on Termination

Unused annual leave days must be paid on termination.

When an employee departs from their job, they are entitled to compensation for any accrued but untaken vacation days for the period during which they did not take their annual leave. This includes a prorated payment for partial years worked, proportional to the time that they spent employed.

Upon the termination of an employee’s service, their final wages must be paid immediately. However, if the employee resigns, the employer has the option to pay these wages within 7 calendar days.

Sick Leave in Saudi Arabia

Maximum of 120 days (of which 90 days are paid)

Employees in Saudi Arabia are entitled to a maximum of 120 days of sick leave per year (90 days are paid). This rule applies to both continuous and periodic illnesses.

Employees must prove their sickness by providing an official medical certificate. 

This requirement applies to employers that have 20 or more workers.

Payout

Payout of sick days starts on the 1st day of absence and works by decreasing the sick pay over time.

The percentage of sick pay goes as follows:

  • First 30 days of leave: fully paid (an employee continues to receive a regular salary during sick leave).
  • The next 60 days: may go from one-third (33% of regular salary) to three-quarters (75%).
  • Last 30 days: unpaid.

Pay during sick leave in Saudi Arabia is covered by the employer.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Saudi Arabia

10 weeks.

Pregnant female employees in Saudi Arabia are entitled to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave after completing one full year of service. This leave can begin up to four weeks before the expected delivery date, with the rest six weeks to be taken post-delivery. Upon returning to work, a female employee is granted an extra one-hour break to breastfeed her child.

The employer covers the costs associated with medical examinations as well as the expenses for treatment and delivery.

Payout

Maternity leave compensation is provided by the employer and varies based on the employee’s length of service. Employees who have completed at least one year of service at the company receive 50% of their usual salary, while those with three or more years of service receive their full salary.

Employees who are compensated with their full salary during their maternity leave are not allowed to take their vacation (annual leave) pay in the same year. Still, those who receive half their pay while on maternity leave can take up to half of their entitled paid annual leave within that same year.

Paternity Leave in Saudi Arabia

1 or 3 days.

Employees are granted by law 1 day or up to 3 days of leave with full payment for the occasion of childbirth. They must also submit the necessary documentation to their employers.

Parental Leave in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s leave laws do not cover parental leave.

Bereavement Leave in Saudi Arabia

1 or 2 days

An employee is entitled to 1 to 2 days of bereavement leave with full pay in the event of the death of the nearest family member.

Jury Duty Leave in Saudi Arabia

Jury duty leave is not specified by law.

Military Leave in Saudi Arabia

Special provisions apply to military obligations.

In the event that employment is terminated by the employer or if the employee resigns due to military obligations or force majeure circumstances, the employee is entitled to receive severance pay. This includes receiving half a month’s salary for each year of service for up to five years and a full month’s salary for each year of service thereafter.

Voting Leave in Saudi Arabia

Voting leave is not specified by law.

Public Holidays in Saudi Arabia for 2024

Date Holiday
February 22 Founding Day
April 9 to April 12 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Jun 15 to Jun 18 Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
September 23 National Day (The Day of the Unification of the Kingdom)

Each year, the local government determines whether public holidays that fall on a weekend are forfeited or shifted to a substitute working day. The dates for religious holidays vary because they are governed by the lunar cycle; they are marked as not fixed and will only be confirmed as the holiday date approaches.

Sources of Saudi Arabia’s Leave Laws

  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/saudi-arabia

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Saudi Arabia, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/saudi-arabia/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Saudi Arabia, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/saudi-arabia

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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