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Article Saudi Arabia: Minister Issues Resolution Regulating Workers' Rights During Night Shifts

(Dec. 13, 2019) On November 2, 2019, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labor and Social Development issued Resolution No. 18632, which regulates the rights for individuals working during night shifts. The resolution, which will take effect in January 2020, defines the term “night shifts” as the period between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. It also clarifies that the term “normal working hours” applies to all jobs performed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. The purpose of the new ministerial resolution is to grant more benefits to night shift workers and establish rules to protect women who work during night shifts.

Health Protections to Night Shift Workers

Under the new regulations, employers are responsible for providing night shift workers with health services, including first aid kits, and allowing them to be transported in a timely fashion to the closest hospital in the event of a work accident. The resolution also grants night workers the right to submit to their employer a medical report stating whether they are fit to work during night shifts. These medical reports must be kept in a secure location to protect the privacy of the workers. The employer has no legal power to publish or share medical reports related to workers without the workers’ prior approval. (Art. 3(a) & (b).)

Conditions Preventing Night Shift Work

The ministerial resolution sets forth conditions under which workers cannot work during night shifts. These conditions include (1) if a worker submits a medical report that he or she is not fit to work during night shifts; (2) if a female worker submits a certificate from a doctor stating that she is 24-weeks’ pregnant; and (3) if a pregnant female worker provides a certificate from her doctor stating that she needs extra time off from night shifts to ensure the health of her baby. (Art. 3(c).)

Benefits Granted to Night Shift Workers

According to the resolution, night shift workers must receive the same benefits as their peers working during normal working hours, and employers must not discriminate between day and night shift workers. The duration of the break between night shifts must be at least 12 hours. A worker must not work night shifts for more than three months, and the employer must rotate workers between day and night shifts every three months. (Other Requirements (a)–(d).)

Employers must ensure that workers have access to food services during night shifts, as well as to appliances to warm up and refrigerate their food. With respect to wages and benefits offered to individuals working night shifts, the resolution requires that employers compensate night shift workers with higher wages, including payment of their transportation expenses to the workplace. (Art. 3.)

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Chicago citation style:

Sadek, George. Saudi Arabia: Minister Issues Resolution Regulating Workers' Rights During Night Shifts. 2019. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2019-12-13/saudi-arabia-minister-issues-resolution-regulating-workers-rights-during-night-shifts/.

APA citation style:

Sadek, G. (2019) Saudi Arabia: Minister Issues Resolution Regulating Workers' Rights During Night Shifts. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2019-12-13/saudi-arabia-minister-issues-resolution-regulating-workers-rights-during-night-shifts/.

MLA citation style:

Sadek, George. Saudi Arabia: Minister Issues Resolution Regulating Workers' Rights During Night Shifts. 2019. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2019-12-13/saudi-arabia-minister-issues-resolution-regulating-workers-rights-during-night-shifts/>.