What is the notice period, or probation period?

What is the notice period, or probation period?

Understanding one's rights during the probation period under the latest Saudi Labor Law is highly beneficial for new expatriates. This article aims to provide insights into the probation period of employees as outlined in Article 53 and Article 54 of the most recent Saudi Labor Law.

In every country, labor laws serve as a guiding framework for both employers and employees in challenging situations. Article 53 in the Latest Saudi Labor Law stipulates that when an employee is subject to a probationary period, it must be explicitly stated and clearly defined within the employment contract. This probation period should not exceed 90 days.

It's worth noting that, subject to mutual agreement in written documentation, this 90-day probationary period can be extended for an additional 90 days, resulting in a total probation period of 180 days (as per the 38 Amendments of the Labor Law updated in 2015). This extension does not include sick leaves, Eid al-Adha, and Eid al-Fitr holidays.

Both the employer and the employee reserve the right to terminate the contract during the probation period, unless the contract contains a clause that grants the termination right to only one party.

Article 54 in the Latest Saudi Labor Law further specifies that an employee should not be placed on probation by the same employer more than once. However, as an exception to this rule, with the approval of both parties involved in the contract, an employee may undergo another probationary period not exceeding 90 days, provided that this period is associated with a different job or profession.

In the event of contract termination during the probationary period, neither party is entitled to compensation, and the employee is not eligible for an End of Service award. It's essential to be aware that, as per the amended labor law, an employee can be subjected to an additional probationary period if both parties agree in writing, but only if the working relationship between them has expired for a period of 6 months or more.