Saudi preparing to launch ‘digitised’ labour courts

The courts will hear all cases related to the labour law, such as disputes concerning labour contracts and wages



Saudi Arabia is preparing to launch digitised and paperless labour courts across the country to deal with all labour disputes.

The courts are being opened by the ministry of Justice and the ministry of Labour and Social Development.

A joint executive team of the two ministries has been formed to complete the final arrangements for the transfer of the jurisdiction of labour cases to the general judiciary.

The team will provide technological, organisational, judicial and administrative requirements for opening the labour courts and departments.

It will also specify and create performance indices for the two ministries, which will be revised periodically.

Last week, the Justice ministry announced that seven fully digitised labour courts will be inaugurated in seven cities in early 2019.

The courts will be opened in Riyadh, Makkah, Jeddah, Abha, Dammam, Buraidah and Madinah, in addition to 27 labour support offices in other cities. Nine specialised labour offices will also be set up inside appeal courts.

The courts will hear all cases related to the labour law, such as disputes concerning labour contracts, wages, rights, and work injuries and compensations; disputes concerning the employer’s imposition of disciplinary sanctions on employees; lawsuits filed for imposing labour law sanctions; and disputes arising from applying the labour law and the social insurance law.

The justice ministry also said it is conducting a special training programme for labour judges focussing on the organisational, skill development and administrative aspects as well as Sharia law.

“We have made a careful selection of the judges who will be handling labour courts based on their performance evaluation, their scholarly competence, seniority, high academic qualifications in law and have conducted judicial research related to labor judiciary and relevant international regulations,” the Saudi Supreme Judicial Council said in May.

Officials said the new courts will speed up the legal process and enhance investment opportunities in the kingdom through the establishment of justice in the business sector.