Expat Workers’ Dilemma in Saudi Arabia to Quit or Not to Quit for End of Service Benefits

Published May 7th, 2018 - 07:08 GMT
Most of expatriate workers, employed in private sector having considerable service duration, are entitled to receive a handsome amount as end of service benefits upon ending of employment. (File photo)
Most of expatriate workers, employed in private sector having considerable service duration, are entitled to receive a handsome amount as end of service benefits upon ending of employment. (File photo)

Some expatriate workers in the Kingdom are eager to resign from their jobs to avail their end of service benefits amid of uncertainty in the job.

These employees feel no immediate threat to their job but they prefer to resign to avail their end of service benefits to safeguard their earnings over the years.



Most of expatriate workers, employed in private sector having considerable service duration, are entitled to receive a handsome amount as end of service benefits upon ending of employment.

The end of service benefits (ESB) is right of worker on the employer in the case of termination of the employment contract, and it is obligatory on the employer to pay the worker at the end of the contract of employment, whether it is fixed-term or indefinite.

The ESB is assessed at half a month pay for each of the first five years and one month pay for each following year based on the last salary. The employee will receive a benefit for year fractions in proportional to the periods he spends at work in accordance with the provisions of Article 84 of Saudi Labor Law. It stipulates that salary used to calculate the benefit is the actual gross salary including all allowances and other elements subject to the exception set out in Article 86 in respect of commissions and percentages.

Article 85 provides that if the work relation is terminated due to the employee's resignation, he shall be entitled to one third of the benefit after two to less than five consecutive years of service and two thirds of the benefit after five to less than ten years of service and the whole benefit if his service period reaches or exceeds ten years.

Further details of ESB calculation can be found on Saudi Labor and Social Development Ministry’s website http://www.laboreducation.gov.sa/en/Contracts/End-of-Service-Award-Cal-…

Recently, Ibrahim Al Marzouq, a senior official from Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Eastern Province, said that if a worker has not completed two years of service then he is not entitled to claim ESB.

The vast majority of the workers are not only hoping but heavily banking on ESB when they leave their job and return home. However, they are, now considering the option of quitting as they stare at uncertain financial future.

Some companies, especially in the construction sector, have been defaulting payment of ESB and other benefits. Scores of workers have returned home by authorizing their diplomatic missions to collect the amount and remit to them.

The workers, who had returned home, have been inquiring about the status of their ESBs with their diplomatic missions. Other workers, who resigned but living in Kingdom to receive the amount, have also not been able to get their ESB.

Also employees, who have not resigned and working but desperately looking for an amicable final exit with ESB, are also living on hope.

The resignations of some employees, who have resigned in hope to claim ESBs, were declined by employers because of funds crunch, said sources.

“I have seen the shrinking of revenues, and the situation can be grim ahead, hence I wanted to resign while still being able to claim ESB,” said an Indian expatriate employee.

Some of Asian diplomatic missions have been flooded with requests for intervention in claiming ESBs. Few of them have hired local law firms to secure pending arrears on behalf of their nationals.

By Irfan Mohammed


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