The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has started applying the first phase of the decision of the Council of Ministers to selectively impose a levy on domestic workers from Sunday, May 22.
Saudi employers will have to pay an annual fee of SR9,600 for each house worker if their number exceeds four while expatriate employers will pay the same amount for each worker in excess of two.
The ministry noted that only a limited segment of Saudi and expatriate employers will be affected by the decision, taken by the Cabinet on March 8, 2022.
According to the decision, a Saudi employer needs to pay the annual fee if he hires a fifth domestic worker while the expatriate employer will pay the same fee in the event of hiring a third worker. The fee will be applicable for every additional worker hired by the same employer.
However, there will be an exemption on humanitarian grounds. For example, workers hired to give medical care to a family member or to take care of people with special needs will be exempted from the payment in accordance with certain terms and conditions formulated by the committee constituted for that purpose.
The first phase is applicable to only new recruits of domestic help while the second phase, which will come into force from May 11, 2023 (Shawwal 21, 1444), will be applicable for both new and existing domestic workers in excess of the exempted number, the ministry pointed out.
The ministry’s data showed that the number of Saudi and expatriate employers who have five members of domestic workers or more stood at around 70,000 people.