Saudi Arabia approves work from home in government sector

FILE PHOTO: A view shows vehicles driving on a street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 16, 2021.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows vehicles driving on a street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 16, 2021.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has approved the introduction of work from home in the government sector.

The ministry has introduced amendments and additions to the executive regulations of the Labor Law pertaining to employment in the civil service.

The ministry’s approval of telework as a new method of work in the government sector is part of achieving diversification and ensuring continuity of jobs in various work environments.

A MHRSD committee will consider everything related to remote working in a government entity. Employees will be allowed to perform their duties and responsibilities outside a workplace using electronic and smart systems and information technology means that are normally used in remote work.

The ministry will accord approval for jobs that can be managed online on the basis of recommendations from the telework committee. Additionally, the government entities can propose specific jobs that can be managed remotely and submit the proposals to the telework committee.

MHRSD’s teleworking initiatives prioritize women's participation in the labor market, in addition to creating opportunities for Saudis in rural areas and qualified persons with special needs.

The amendments also cover scholarship students.

According to the amendment, a scholarship student must work for the entity that sponsored him or her for study for a period equivalent to the duration of scholarship at the end of their studies. If a student refrains from doing so or does not complete the required work period, they must pay back the entire costs for the entity during the scholarship period.

The competent minister may give the student exemption from working for a government entity for the aforementioned period if they worked for another government entity financed from the general budget of the state. However, the exemption period will not exceed half of that period if the government entity is not covered by the state’s general budget.

The government entity to which the scholarship student is affiliated shall bear the tuition fees. It is permissible for the student to bear the fees if he or she desires so after including formal consent in the dispatch decision.

The employee’s age shall be specified at the time of appointment and that shall be based on the Gregorian calendar regarding the day, month and year, as shown in the person’s official document. If this is not available on the official document, the Gregorian date would be determined on the basis of the first day of the Hijri month of Rajab.

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