How to hire remote employees in

Saudi Arabia

Thinking about hiring in Saudi Arabia? You’re in the right place. In the next five minutes, we’ll cut through the noise on hiring in Saudi Arabia and teach you how you can onboard the talent you need—without paying thousands in legal fees or spending months buried in paperwork.

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
Saudi Riyal (SAR)
EMPLOYER TAXES
12.00% to 14.00%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Arabic, English

What to know before you hire in 

Saudi Arabia

Laws about hiring are complicated, and the same is true in Saudi Arabia. But there are ways to sidestep the headaches—if your company hasn’t already established a physical presence in Saudi Arabia, you have two real options when it comes to hiring. We’ll detail both below.

If you want to successfully hire in 

Saudi Arabia

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

Saudi Arabia

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

Saudi Arabia

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

Saudi Arabia

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

Saudi Arabia

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

Saudi Arabia

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

Saudi Arabia

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

Saudi Arabia

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

Saudi Arabia

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

Saudi Arabia

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in Saudi Arabia than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in Saudi Arabia.

Taxes in 

Saudi Arabia

Employer tax

Social Insurance Tax for No Saudi employees – occupational hazard

Social Insurance Tax for Saudi employees – occupational hazard, pension, and unemployment)

Individual tax

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

If an employee has completed 1 year of employment, they are entitled to 15 days of paid leave per year.  After 10 years of employment, this entitlement is increased to 21 days per year. 

The employee is also entitled to 10 days of unpaid leave per year, subject to employer approval.  

In Saudi Arabia, (Article 109 of the Labour Law), the annual leave entitlement is dependent on the employee’s seniority.

Employees with more than five years of service are entitled to 30 days of annual leave.

Employees may carry over any untaken leave to the following vacation leave with the employer’s written consent.

Public Holidays

There are 3 public holidays.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

  • Employees are generally allowed up to four months of sick leave, if they provide a medical certificate.
  • Sick leave is paid as follows:

             First 30 days: 100%

             31 to 90 days: 75%

             91 days to 120 days: unpaid

Employees are required to provide a medical certificate for all sick days.  

Sick leave laws apply to employers with more than 20 employees.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are generally entitled to 10 weeks of paid maternity leave, up to four weeks may be taken before the birth and at least six of the weeks must be taken after.

The payment of maternity leave is dependent on the employee’s seniority; employers will compensate employees with service of at least one year at 50.00% of the employee’s pay rate. Employees with at least three years of service receive compensation at the rate of 100.00% of the employees’ regular pay.

An employee receiving full maternity leave entitlement may not also take the payment of annual leave in the same year. In contrast, an employee receiving 50.00% of their salary as a maternity benefit may also take an annual leave entitlement of 50.00% in the same year.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are eligible for three days of paid paternity leave after the child’s birth (Article 113 of the Labour Law).

Parental Leave

There are no provisions in the law regarding paternity leave.

Other Leave

Hajj leave/Pilgrimage leave -According to the Labour law, an employee is entitled between 10 to 15 days (including the Eid Al-Adha holiday) to perform Hajj if the employee has completed at least 2 consecutive years of service with the employer.

Marriage Leave

In Saudi Arabia, an employee is entitled to 3 days of leave in the event of their wedding.

Bereavement Leave

Employee  is entitled to two days of bereavement leave in the event of he death of an immediate member.

Termination

Termination Process

Employees with unlimited contracts are entitled to receive 60 days’ notice.

Employees with other contracts are entitled to 30 days’ notice.

If proper notice is not given, the parties can agree to compensation instead.

During the notice period, employees may use 8 hours of work time per week to find alternate employment.

There is not notice period for definite contracts as it is rare to have a valid reason for ending a definite contract early.

When an employment contract ends, an employee is entitled to an “end-of-service award” equal to one-half of one month’s wages for each of the first 5 years of employment and a full month’s wages for each year of employment thereafter, pro- rated for any partial year’s service.

An employment contract may be terminated in the following situations:

  • by mutual consent of the employer and the employee;
  • upon expiry of the employment term specified in the contract, unless the contract has been explicitly, contractually or statutorily renewed. Statutory renewal relates to the situation where the employee commences employment under a fixed term contract and continues to work after the original contract term has expired. In such a case, the contract will convert into an indefinite term contract and will not require further renewal;
  • when the employee reaches the age of retirement;
  • upon the occurrence of a force majeure event;
  • where the business permanently closes (i.e. permitted redundancy);
  • where the employer terminates the entirety of the activity in which the employee is employed (i.e. permitted redundancy); for cause;

The employer must give a valid reason for the dismissal of an employee; if an employer cannot provide lawful reasoning, compensation may be issued.  

If an employee resigns, the employer must issue their final wages immediately.

Notice Period

The notice period in Saudi Arabia is:

For termination of an employee in Saudi Arabia, 60 days’ notice is required on open ended contracts (with an indefinite term and paid monthly).

For fixed term contracts, the notice period is 30 days.

Severance Pay

When an employment contract ends, an employee is entitled to an “end-of-service award” equal to one-half of one month’s wages for each of the first 5 years of employment and a full month’s wages for each year of employment thereafter, pro-rated for any partial year’s service.

The end-of-service payment is calculated based on the last paid salary amount. Article 85 also stipulates that the employee is entitled to:

  • one-third of the payment after a service of not less than two consecutive years and not more than five years
  • two thirds if the service if more than five successive years but less than ten years and to the
  • full payment if his service amounts for ten or more years when the work relation ends due to the employee’s resignation.

However, there are exceptions as to when severance is not mandatory:  

  • When the employer assaults their employer or supervisor  
  • When the obligations outlined in the employment contract are not fulfilled by the employee and has been warned in writing  
  • Negligence or intent to cause harm to the employer
  • Dishonesty or forgery  
  • When the employee is on probation  
  • When the employee is absent from work for more than 20 days in a year or 10 consecutive days  
  • Divulging in trade secrets

Probation Period

An employee can be subject to a probationary period of no more than 90 calendar days and during this period the contract can be terminated without notice.

Subject to the employee's consent, this period can be extended up to 180 calendar days (i.e. six months in total).

Employee requirements in 

Saudi Arabia

Working Hours

The Saudi working week begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday.

Friday and Saturday are the official days of rest, but in certain cases Saturday might be considered as a working day.

Office hours vary, ranging from 7.30am -8am until noon, then from 3.30pm - 4pm until 7pm - 8pm.

The working day may decrease to 6 hours a day during the time of Ramadan. Typically, Fridays are a rest day.

Overtime

All work exceeding the standard working hours a week is to be paid as overtime and is regulated by employment contract/collective agreements. Daily hours cannot exceed 11 hours.

An employee's total working hours, including overtime, should not exceed 10hours a day or 60 hours in a six-day week.

Here is also an annual overtime cap of 481 hours.

According to Saudi labor law article 107,overtime in Saudi Arabia is 150% of the hourly wage.

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