Expats in Saudi can now challenge employers if ‘falsely’ reported absent from work

The move is aimed at preventing the misuse of the service offered to employers, who can report their absent workers

Expat workers in Saudi Arabia can now challenge their employers, if they have been “falsely” reported absent at work, local media reported.

A new initiative launched by the ministry of Labour and Social Development allows expat workers to appeal against their employers if they were present at work but marked absent.

The move is aimed at preventing the misuse of the service offered to employers to report their workers absent, local daily Saudi Gazette reported.

It also aims to ensure that the report about a worker’s absence from work is accurate.

Employers cannot avail of the ministry’s service to report employees absent from work if workers have already filed a case against them.

The report also added that employees cannot file an appeal against their employers if their iqama (residence permit) or work permit has expired.

Saudi Arabia has been announcing several changes to its labour regulations in recent months.

Last month, the kingdom revealed that it will extend new work visas for expatriates in private sector firms for two years instead of one year without any additional fees.

The extension of the time limit also covers old visas, local media reported.

The move comes after the kingdom announced in 2017 that it would be reducing the duration of work visa for expats from two years to one year.

Read: Saudi to extend expat work visas for two years for no additional fee