Saudi Arabia Payroll Outsourcing and PEO/GEO Services Leader Publishes Payroll & HR Insights for Saudi Arabia
Mercans, a leading Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcingPEO/GEOemployee leasingrecruitment and BPO services provider, has published its most recent Payroll & HR Insights for Saudi Arabia. These insights provide an invaluable overview of the information every Payroll & HR specialist should know before setting up their HR and payroll functions in Saudi Arabia or signing up with a payroll outsourcing or PEO/GEO services provider. Mercans’ summary of labor laws, tax and social security regulations in Saudi Arabia allow you to navigate the local complexities and avoid pitfalls.

Mercans’ Saudi Arabia Payroll Outsourcing Solutions

While this summary will serve you as a great guide, you should still get in touch with Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation on setting up fully compliant payroll and HR functions. Better yet, outsource your payroll and HR activities in Saudi Arabia to Mercans and our Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing experts will ensure that your employees will always be paid on time and in accordance with the Saudi Arabia regulations.

Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing solutions are unique and revolutionary:

  • Mercans is not an aggregator – your Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing services will be delivered by Mercans’ dedicated Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing team. No middlemen or subcontractors will ever see your confidential data.
  • We use our proprietary Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing software platform, that has been specifically designed to handle the complexities and requirements of Saudi Arabia labor regulations.
  • Your data is always be secure with Mercans – Mercans is the only Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing provider with ISO 9001, 20000 and 27001 certifications; has passed SOC 1 and 2 (both Type 1 and 2) audits; is GDPR compliant and has successfully completed OWASP Type 3.0 penetration tests.
  • Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing software platform can be easily integrated with any global HRMS systems; i.e. Workday, SAP, SuccessFactors, Oracle, Dynamics, etc.
  • Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing fees are transparent and competitive – you will save 30-50% over the service fees of any other comparative Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing provider.

Mercans’ Saudi Arabia PEO/GEO Services

If you are already too busy to deal with another Saudi Arabia or do not have a local legal entity in Saudi Arabia and need to hire staff there, then Mercans’ PEO/GEO services in Saudi Arabia are the right solution for you. We will employ the staff on your behalf in Saudi Arabia and will ensure the full compliance with the local regulations throughout the hire-to-retire cycle in Saudi Arabia. Mercans’ recruitment and immigration specialists will even help you to find the right staff and complete their immigration process in the matter of days.

Mercans does not use any subcontractor’s to deliver Saudi Arabia PEO/GEO Services. This ensures that your employees receive the highest quality support in Saudi Arabia and our service fees are unbeatable.

Saudi Arabia Consistent Growth in Non-Oil Activity

The Saudi economy, the largest in the Arab world, has suffered in recent years because of low oil prices and austerity measures aimed at reducing a budget deficit. The economy remains dominated by hydrocarbon revenues despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s assertion that he aims to diversify it.

Looking out into 2020, it is expected the overall GDP to rise by 2.1 percent. Although oil sector GDP growth is likely to be muted, there is progress under various Vision Realization Programs (VRPs) directly contributing to growth in numerous sectors.

Firming oil prices have enabled the government to produce two record-breaking budgets for 2018 and 2019, and the private sector is poised to benefit as the projects outlined in the nation’s ambitious development strategy begin to take shape with its help.

Saudi Arabia’s long-term goal of securing enough private investment to shift the nation’s primary engine of growth away from state spending, however, remains a work in progress.

Doing Business in Saudi Arabia

Entity Registration & Incorporation Requirements

Options to conduct business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) depend upon, among other things, the foreign investor’s business goals and the types of activities that the foreign investor wishes to undertake locally. Business structuring options may range from establishing a distinct legal entity to entering into a distribution or a commercial agency agreement with a local partner.

Generally, in order to conduct business legally on the ground in KSA, an investor must have a legal presence locally. Once established, the corporate entity may only conduct activities in accordance with the terms of its foreign investment license, issued by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (“SAGIA”), and its commercial registration certificate, issued by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment (“MOCI”).

Foreign companies wishing to establish a legal presence in KSA may choose to establish a corporate entity in the form of a branch office (“Branch”), a Scientific and Technical Offices (“Scientific Offices”), a limited liability company (“LLC”), or a joint stock company (“JSC”). The choice of entity will depend on the foreign investor’s business goals and the types of activities that the foreign investor wishes to undertake.

Entity options are discussed briefly below.


Wholly foreign-owned entities may establish branch offices in KSA. Certain conditions must be met before a foreign investment license will be issued by SAGIA.

Scientific Offices

Scientific offices are permitted to conduct market surveys, undertake product research, and provide scientific and technical services support for their products to agents, distributors and consumers of their products. However, they are prohibited from directly or indirectly engaging in commercial activities in KSA, including sales.

Limited Liability Company (“LLC”)

An LLC is a company with limited liability where the number of shareholders must not exceed 50. Each shareholder is only liable to the extent of the paid up value of his share in the capital (subject to Islamic Law provisions regarding limitation of liability). Such companies cannot deal in insurance or financial operations and are required to set aside a statutory reserve of net annual profits. One hundred percent foreign ownership is available in certain sectors as directed by SAGIA.

Joint Stock Company (“JSC”)

A JSC must be owned by two or more individuals or entities. Capital is apportioned into negotiable shares of an equal amount and shareholders are liable only to the extent of the paid up value of their shareholdings. The minimum capital requirement is 500,000 Saudi Riyals. The issued paid-up capital upon incorporation must be not less than 50 percent of the authorized capital. A JSC is permitted to issue non-voting preferential shares in an amount up to 50 percent of the authorized capital.

Prospective JSCs involving businesses such as minerals exploitation, administration of public utilities, banking and finance, and insurance require authorization by Royal Decree prior to incorporation. The management of a JSC is composed of a board of directors. This board, appointed by the shareholders, must have a minimum of three members.

Commercial Agencies

Commercial agency and distributorship arrangements are regulated by the Law of Commercial Agencies supplemented by the related Executive Regulations (together the “Agency Law”).

The Agency Law is primarily concerned with mandatory registration procedures and the penalties resulting from non-compliance with these procedures. The Agency Law also contains provisions concerning the relationship between the principal and the agent, primarily intended to secure the interests of the consumers.

The Agency Law does not differentiate between the terms “agent” or “distributor” in terms of legal

status, but governs the relationship between any Saudi entity which enters into an agreement with a foreign producer to perform commercial activities, whether as an agent or as a distributor in any manner for a certain profit, commission or other benefit of any other kind. The meaning of “commercial activities” includes the purchase of goods or produce for resale either directly or after manufacture or processing.

Key consideration related to the most common legal entity structures have been summarized below:

Saudi Payroll Outsourcing


The documents required for the incorporation of most common legal entity types are summarized below:

Saudi Payroll Outsourcing

Incorporation Process

The general incorporation steps, which vary based on the legal entity type, have been outlined below:

  • Prepare documents including legalization by the Saudi Consulate.
  • Submit application to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and obtain an investment license.
  • Obtain agreement from the Companies Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry after submitting the Articles of Association and the company name.
  • Sign the Articles of Association in front of a Notary Public.
  • Publication of the company name and a summary of the Articles of Association in the official gazette.
  • Open a Bank Account, Transfer the Share Capital and Obtain a Certificate stating that the capital has been deposited.
  • Register with the General Department of Passports, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labor and obtain a work visa for the company manager.
  • Company manager getting his visa stamped at the Saudi consulate and obtaining his Work Permit and Residence Permit upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
  • Registrations with the Commercial Registry at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Obtain a File Number and Certificate of Business commencement by registering with the Department of Zakat and Income Tax (DZIT), Ministry of Finance.
  • Register with the General Organisation of Social Insurance (GOSI).

Registration with the Ministry of Labor (MOL)

In order to register with the MOL, the company must submit its Commercial Registration certificate,

articles of association, Chamber of Commerce-attested signatories and business location license. Registration with the MOL is needed to register with the General Organization for Social Insurance.

Registration with the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI)

To register for social security insurance, the employer must open a file with the GOSI. This can be done partially online as follows:

  • The employer visits GOSI’s website, completes an application and provides the company’s MOL number. He or she then prints the application and submits it to GOSI in person to complete the registration.
  • The application must be stamped with a company seal. In addition, the location of the entity (business location license) and the designation of the authorized person to represent the company before GOSI must be included.
  • Upon attendance in person at GOSI, the ID of the authorized person is validated and checked, and a username and password is then issued to the company. The GOSI Certificate is also issued and can be collected on-site. The number that GOSI gives the employer is different from his or her MOL number. The employer enters their username and password (GOSI’s website), and registers the employees with their IDs, wages, occupations, nationalities, date of commencement and location.

Accounting and Reporting

Legal entities in Saudi Arabia are required to submit financial statements audited in accordance with the requirements of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on an annual basis to the authorities. Entities subject to VAT registration, must submit either quarterly or monthly VAT returns to the General Office of Zakat & Tax (GAZT).


It is mandatory to have an in-country bank account to process payments in Saudi Arabia. All government levies must be paid through a government payment channel SADAD. SADAD payments can only be initiated from Saudi Arabia based bank accounts.

All entities with more than 10 employees are required to process their payroll payments through Wage Protection System (WPS).

Bank lending consists mainly of trade and medium-term investment finance. Banking operations in the Kingdom are regulated by the Saudi Arabian Banking Control Law and are supervised by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

In general, banks are open from 8 am to 1 pm, Saturdays to Wednesdays, when many banks re-open in the afternoon from 4.30 to 6.30 pm. On Thursdays, opening hours are usually 8 am to noon, and banks (like other businesses) are closed on Fridays.

Working Week

The typical working week in Saudi Arabia is Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 6pm. Friday is the only official weekend day and Saturday is often a working day for the construction and service industries.

The number of legal working hours in a week in Saudi Arabia should not be more than 48 hours    and number of hours in a day should not be more than eight hours. However, Friday is generally not considered as a working day in the country.  During the Ramadan month, employees  are expected  at their workplace for only six hours a day and 36 hours in a week. These hours do not include their lunch, rest and prayer times. If the employee is asked to work during weekends, they will be eligible for double daily wages. In case of overtime, the employer shall pay the employee an additional amount equal to the hourly wage plus 50% of their basic wage.

The working hour’s related regulations have been summarized below:

Saudi Payroll Outsourcing



  1. Discussions are ongoing for the changes of the weekly working hours to 40 hours. Does not apply to managerial level employees, guard, janitors, if required on a short-term basis, job must be completed immediately before or after normal working hours. During inventory, month or year-end closing (max 30 day/year), emergencies, etc.
  2. Most common approach
  3. With the approval of MOL, number of working hours may be increased to more than eight hours a day to forty eight hours a week, provided that the average working hours in three weeks’ time shall not be more or less than eight hours a day or forty eight hours a week.
  4. With approval of MOL, this requirement may be waived. The break is scheduled by the company.
  5. In accordance to the labor law, public holidays are not extended if they fall on a weekend day. However, most companies provide a replacement day.


Basic Facts

Saudi Payroll Outsourcing

Tax & Social Security

Registration with the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT)

Zakat, a religious wealth tax, is assessed on the basis of taxable income and certain assets. To register with the GAZT, the employer should visit the GAZT website and complete an online application, attaching the Commercial Registration certificate, Articles of Association of the company, details of the shareholders of the company, a copy of the capital deposit certificate from a bank for Saudi companies, and the details of the authorized person or signatory of the company. The authorized signatures must be certified by the Chamber of Commerce. Then, the employer receives a unique ID number. The Certificate of Zakat will be issued and sent by mail and email within two to three days. This certificate is needed for the company to participate in tender offers and government contracts, among others.


Corporate Income Tax

Only non-Saudi investors are liable for income tax in Saudi Arabia. In most cases, Saudi citizen investors (and citizens of the GCC countries, who are considered to be Saudi citizens for Saudi tax purposes) are liable for Zakat, an Islamic assessment. Where a company is owned by both Saudi and non-Saudi interests, the portion of taxable income attributable to the non-Saudi interest is subject to income tax, and the Saudi share goes into the basis on which Zakat is assessed.


According to the income tax law, the following persons are subject to income tax:

  • A resident capital company with respect to shares owned either directly or indirectly by persons operating in oil and hydrocarbon production.
  • A resident non-Saudi natural person who carries on activities in Saudi Arabia.
  • A non-resident person who carries out activities in Saudi Arabia through a PE.
  • A non-resident person who has other income subject to tax from sources within Saudi Arabia without having a PE.
  • A person engaged in natural gas investment fields.
  • A person engaged in oil and other hydrocarbon production.
  • The rate of income tax is 20% of the net adjusted profits. WHT rates are between 5% and 20%. Zakat is charged on the company’s Zakat base at 2.5%. Zakat base represents the net worth of the entity as calculated for Zakat purposes.


It should be noted that, although the income tax rate is 20%, income from the following two activities is subject to different rates:

Income from oil and hydrocarbon production is subject to tax at a rate ranging from 50% to 85%.

The tax base of a person who works in natural gas investment should be independent of the tax base relating to other activities of this person.

Effective 1 January 2018, the income tax legislation was amended to repeal the NGIT provisions; natural gas investment should be taxed under the general provisions of the income tax legislation (including being subject to the general income tax rate of 20%).

There are no local, state, or provincial government taxes on income other than the regular income tax or Zakat as mentioned above.

A company is considered a resident company if it is formed under the Saudi Arabian Regulations for Companies or if its central management is located in Saudi Arabia.

Permanent establishment (PE)

According to the Saudi tax regulations, the following are the requirements for considering a non-resident party to have a PE:

  • A PE of a non-resident in Saudi Arabia, unless otherwise provided below, consists of the permanent place of activity of the non-resident through which one carries out business, in full or in part, including business carried out through an agent.
  • The following are considered a PE:
    • Construction sites, assembly facilities, and the exercise of related supervisory activities.
    • Installations or sites used for surveying for natural resources, drilling equipment, or ships used for surveying for natural resources, and the exercise of related supervisory activities.
    • A fixed location where a non-resident natural person carries out business.
    • A branch of a non-resident company that is licensed to carry out business in Saudi Arabia.
  • A place is not considered a PE of a non-resident in Saudi Arabia if it is used in Saudi Arabia only to do the following:
    • Store, display, or deliver goods or products belonging to the non-resident.
    • Keep an inventory of goods or products belonging to the non-resident only for the purposes of processing by another person.
    • Purchase goods or products only for the collection of information for the non-resident.
    • Perform any other activities that are preparatory or auxiliary in nature for the interests of the non-resident.
    • Prepare contracts relating to loans, supply of products, or perform technical services for signature.
    • Execute any group of the activities mentioned above.
  • A non-resident partner in a resident personal company is considered an owner to a PE in Saudi Arabia in the form of a share in a personal company.

Furthermore, the agent mentioned in the above article is identified as a dependent agent who has any of the following authorities:

  • Negotiate on behalf of a non-resident.
  • Conclude contracts on behalf of a non-resident.
  • Has a stock of goods, owned by a non-resident, on hand in Saudi Arabia to supply the clients’ demands regularly on behalf of the non-resident.
  • A place from which a non-resident carries out insurance and/or reinsurance activity in Saudi Arabia through an agent is considered a PE of the non-resident even though the agent is not authorized to negotiate and conclude contracts on behalf of the non-resident.

Personal Income Tax

Since there is no individual income tax regime in Saudi Arabia, earnings from employment are not subject to income tax. Only the social insurance tax (see below) is applied on the payroll.

Social Security

The social insurance tax is paid monthly on the basis of the monthly basic salary plus housing allowance.  Employers must pay 2% of the Employee’s wage to GOSI for all employees. This is to cover injuries sustained through occupational hazards.

In addition to the 2% employer GOSI contribution, all Saudi national employees are subject to 9% employee and 9% employer annuities contributions and 1% employee & 1% employer unemployment insurance contributions which fall under GOSI. Also, the contribution would not be applicable on earnings greater than SAR 45,000 per month.

When an employee is provided with housing and no allowance is mentioned, the contributory value is equivalent to 2 month basic salary or 16.67% x Basic Salary.

The contribution under Occupational Hazard relates to both Saudi and Non Saudi nationals, and is paid by the employer only through SADAD system.


The tax year is the calendar year.

Starters and leavers, as well as current employees’ salary changes, have to registered with GOSI during the month they join or leave the company.

Wage Protection System (WPS)

WPS regulations were introduced to ensure, that all employers pay their employees on-time and fully. The WPS process allows the MOL to centrally and electronically monitor in real time the salary payments of the participating employers and take enforcement actions if the salary payments are not made in accordance with the Labor Law and employment agreements.

Currently, the employers with more than 20 employees are required to process all of their salary payments through the WPS system. For this, the employer has to complete the following actions:

  • Complete the legal entity registration process in Saudi Arabia, including the registration with the Ministry of Labor;
  • Activate the online MOL portal for uploading the WPS files;
  • Open a corporate bank account in Saudi Arabia and activate the WPS services by signing a respective agreement with their bank;
  • Generate the WPS files in the format mandated by the bank;
  • Ensure that all employees have been registered with the General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI);
  • Confirm that all employees have opened local Saudi riyal denominated bank accounts.

The objective of the WPS process is to monitor the salary payments by the employers and ensure, that all employees receive their full salaries. In order to accomplish this objective, the employers are required to comply with the following WPS processing steps on a monthly basis:

  • Complete the payroll calculations, which match the salary information provided to the GOSI when registering the employees with GOSI;
  • Generate electronic WPS files in the format prescribed by the company’s bank in Saudi Arabia;
  • Upload the WPS file(s) to the designated online portal of the bank. The WPS file(s) will be used by the bank to execute the salary payments to the employees. Multiple WPS files may be processed by the employer during any month, provided that the WPS files include different groups of employees;
  • Download digitally signed copies of the WPS files after the execution of the salary payments by the bank;
  • Upload the digitally signed WPS files to the MOL portal;
  • Ensure that the uploaded WPS files are successfully accepted by the MOL.

The MOL records all salary payments made by employers and compares these amounts with the information provided by the employers when registering their employees with GOSI. During this process the MOL completes the following verifications:

  • Verifies that all employees registered in GOSI are also included in the WPS files and that the WPS files do not include any other employees;
  • The basic salaries and housing allowances reported by the employers in the WPS files are matched with the information reported to GOSI;
  • Employees are paid on time; i.e. not more than 7 days from the respective month-end.

Since the WPS process is fairly new and the reporting requirements have not been clearly defined or communicated, there are a number of common issues experienced by the employers, which may lead to inadvertent non-compliance with the WPS process requirements. Some of the most common issues have been summarized below:

  • Not all the employees registered in GOSI are included in the WPS files. This may include the following scenarios:
    • Starters – employees who started after the payroll cutoff date and were not included in the regular payroll cycle. The salaries for these employees should be processed through off-cycle payrolls, with separate WPS files being generated for the off-cycle payments.
    • Leavers – employees who have left the company must be deregistered from GOSI before the monthly payroll is processed.
  • Deductions – The MOL monitors the amount of salaries paid though the WPS and compares these amounts with the basic salaries and housing allowance provided to GOSI. Ensure that the maximum deviation between these amounts is less than 20%.
  • Unpaid Leaves – The WPS process does not accommodate unpaid leaves very well. The unpaid leaves reduce basic salaries and housing allowances amounts paid to the employees and any deviations are automatically treated as underpayments of salaries. Therefore, the employers need to ensure that the total unpaid leave deductions do not exceed 20% of the affected employees’ salaries during any month.
  • Local Bank Accounts – employees cannot be paid to non-Saudi bank accounts. All salary payments must be made in Saudi riyals to the local accounts.

Employers should ensure that they avoid these common pitfalls when processing salaries through the WPS process.

The MOL is actively monitoring and enforcing the compliance with the WPS processes. In case of non-compliance, the MOL services will be suspended until the company processes all salary payments in conformity with the WPS requirements. This means, that the employers need to ensure their full compliance with the WPS regulations to avoid any unexpected gaps in their MOL services, including Iqama transfers, renewals, etc.



Payroll requirements are governed by Saudi Labor Law. There is no specific guidance for payslips, however, in general practice, payslips are released to employees monthly. Payments are controlled through the Wage Protection System (WPS). The employer will have to transfer salary payments via WPS within two weeks of their due date, or on the dates specified in the work contract if such salary or wages are paid more frequently than monthly. It is mandatory to have a local employment contract and salary transfer in Saudi riyals.

Both Saudi nationals and expats have to register with the MOL. Expats do not pay social security insurance, only the employer pays 2%. Saudi national employees and the employer have to contribute equally for social security insurance.

If the employee moves to another firm, the employee’s name has to be removed from the MOL and GOSI. However, the GOSI number remains the same.

Sample Payslip

Saudi Payroll Outsourcing

Employment Law

Foreign nationals account for about half of Saudi Arabia’s workforce. All Employees should be provided with an employment contract in writing, specifying all details of the remuneration package. Anything agreed verbally is not covered by a contract, so it is important that all the important aspects are written down.

The majority of employment contracts in Saudi Arabia are “single-status,” which means that even if you are married, your spouse and/or family members cannot accompany you to Saudi Arabia. Only some senior/administrative and medical contracts allow family members to travel to and live in Saudi Arabia.

The employment contract types and the respective considerations have been summarized below.

Contract Types




·       All expatriates

·       Saudi nationals who are employed on a fixed-term basis

·       There is no minimum or maximum term for fixed term contracts (term limited to work permit validity for expats)

·       Maximum 3 week renewals

·       Maximum length of the fixed term contract is 4 years

·       Fixed-term contracts cannot be terminated by neither the employer nor employee before the end-date of the contract without “cause” (burden of proof is on the party wishing to terminated)

·       Contract expires automatically at the end of the term. However, the party wishing not to renew should ensure that they do not continue to execute the contract after its expiry

Indefinite term ·       Saudi nationals only ·       Contract can be terminated by either party by giving 60 days of notice

Holiday Accrual / Calculations

Based on payroll and salary code, Employees can earn up to 30 calendar days of vacation each year, in addition to an extra 2-4 travel days. Employees with at least two years’ continuous service with the Employer are entitled to paid leave of 10 to 15 days (including the Eid al-Adha holiday) to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.

Employees are entitled to three days’ paid leave on the occasion of their marriage, and in the event of the death of an “ascendant” (that is, a parent, grandparent and so on) or descendant (that is, a child, grandchild and so on).

Maternity Leave

A female worker is entitled to maternity leave for the four weeks immediately preceding the expected date of delivery and the subsequent six weeks. The probable date of delivery shall be determined by the physician of the firm or pursuant to a medical report certified by a health authority. A woman may not work during the six weeks immediately following delivery.

During the maternity leave, an Employer shall pay the female worker half her wage if she has been in service for one year or more, and a full wage if she has served for three years or more as of the date of commencement of such leave. A female worker shall not be paid any wages during her regular annual leave if she has enjoyed in the same year a maternity leave with full wage. She shall be paid half her wage during the annual leave if she has enjoyed in the same year a maternity leave at half wage.

An Employer shall provide medical care for female workers during pregnancy and delivery.

When a female worker returns to work following maternity leave, she shall be entitled, in addition to the rest periods granted to all workers, to a rest period or periods not exceeding in aggregate one hour a day for nursing her infant.

Such period or periods shall be calculated as part of the actual working hours and shall not entail any reduction in wages.

An Employer may not terminate the employment of a female worker or give her a warning of the same while on maternity leave.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave has been increased from one day to three days under new amendments to the Saudi Arabian labor laws.


A worker whose illness has been proven shall be eligible for a paid sick leave for the first thirty days, three quarters of the wage for the next sixty days and without pay for the following thirty days, during a single year, whether such leaves are continuous or intermittent. A single year shall mean the year which begins from the date of the first sick leave.

National Service

National service is mandatory for all male nationals that are:

  • Between 18 and 30 years old
  • Medically fit
  • Obtain approval of the National and Reserve Service Committee.

At present, service is optional for women.

With the exception of what is mentioned in Article 85 of the Labor Law, the employee shall be entitled to the full award if he or she leaves the position due to unavoidable circumstances beyond their control. Also, a female worker is eligible for the full award if she terminated the contract within six months from the date she got married or within three months from the date of giving birth.


Employment Visas (a.k.a. Block Visas) are allocated to companies by the government to enable them to recruit non-Saudi nationals from outside KSA. The companies are allocated a defined number of visas for each country and labor category. The company must meet industry- and size-specific Saudization requirements in order to qualify for expatriate employment visas. The company will not be able to hire expatriate employees if the established Saudization levels are not met.

The company must have an employment visa for the respective country and labor category available in order for a candidate to qualify for an employment visa. The candidate must also be in possession of the required documents that prove their qualifications required for the respective visa labor category.

In many countries, employment visas can only be processed by authorized recruitment and visa processing agencies.

In order to initiate an employment visa process, the employer will first open an ‘immigration file’ at the Ministry of Interior and apply for a visa. Once the application has been approved, the Employee is required to submit the following documents to the Saudi embassy in the country of residence:

  • Original passport – valid for the duration of the employment contract with a minimum of two consecutive blank pages
  • Three color passport photographs
  • Completed application form – this will either be provided by the employer or can be requested from the embassy or consulate of Saudi Arabia
  • Copy of the employment contract – signed by both the employee and employer
  • Letter from the employer, certified by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including the number and date of the visa, as well as the name of the applicant and the job title
  • Copy of a degree or diploma received by the foreign employee, certified and notarized by the relevant organization in the home country as well as the embassy or consulate of Saudi Arabia in that country
  • Three copies of a medical report (with three passport photographs) certifying the absence of the HIV virus and any contagious diseases – this must be issued by a licensed doctor from a Saudi Embassy-approved clinic in the country of origin within three months of the application
  • Police report detailing any criminal records held by the applicant, which must be issued within six months of the application
  • Notification of the number of the Employment Visa applied for by the company from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia and its date of issue
  • Application fee

Saudi Arabia Payroll Outsourcing

Make sure your employees are always paid accurately and on time with real-time access to your HR and payroll data by allowing Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing team to manage all aspects of your payroll function in Saudi Arabia. Mercans’ cutting-edge HRBlizzTM payroll suite is intuitive and transparent: save time, and let technology do the hard work. Mercans’ Business Intelligence and HRIS integration tools tie all of your systems into a single harmonious platform.

Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing offering, leverages Mercans’ more than 20-year experience in delivering payroll outsourcing and PEO/GEO services in Saudi Arabia. HRBlizzTM SaaS Global Payroll Suite features, designed for Saudi Arabia payroll software and payroll outsourcing clients, include:

  • Integration Saudi Arabia tax and social security systems and process.
  • Ability to generate electronic bank files for all major bank in Saudi Arabia.
  • Built-in working hours rules in compliance with Saudi Arabia labor law.
  • Holiday/annual leave calculations in accordance with Saudi Arabia labor regulations
  • Sick pay calculations in accordance with Saudi Arabia labor laws
  • Collective bargaining agreements related configurations and support.
  • Income tax calculations in accordance with Saudi Arabia tax regulations
  • Tax calculations for non-resident individuals.
  • Foreign tax relief based tax credits.
  • Personal deductions and employment expenses support for tax calculations.
  • Fully configurable setup for unemployment, accident and group life insurances.
  • Customizable and configurable benefits plans.
  • Restricted Stock Units (RSU) tax calculation in accordance with Saudi Arabia regulations.
  • Online Employee Self Service (ESS) for delivery of payslips.
  • Fully automated integration with the existing HRIS and third-party systems.
  • Wage type specific gross-to-net or net-to-gross calculations and simulations.
  • Customized calculations formulas for employee benefits.
  • In-kind benefits calculations.
  • Private pension plans administration.
  • Formula and eligibility driven calculations.
  • Automated conversions of annual compensation amounts to monthly, daily and hourly rates.
  • Wage type specific pro-rata calculation rules.

Saudi Arabia PEO/GEO Services

React quickly to the market demands and deploy staff anywhere in the world in just days: this is Mercans’ global employee outsourcing and employee leasing services. Mercans PEO/GEO and employee leasing services in Saudi Arabia provide you agility, increase your competitiveness and are easy to implement. There is no need for you to worry about setting up a local company, recruiting and payrolling staff. Enjoy the security of Mercans’ guaranteed compliance with the regulations in Saudi Arabia. Mobilize any number of resources quickly— and focus on building your business while we take care of the rest.

Saudi Arabia Talent Acquisition & Recruitment

Get access to a large pool of global and local talent in Saudi Arabia, reduce time-to-hire, and improve hire quality all in one. Our Mesaar recruitment suite uses innovative matching and psychometric assessment tools to identify the best candidates for your business at record speed. Our consultants have extensive experience placing candidates across industries and organizational levels, and we have led executive searches and outsourcing mobilization projects for large multinationals involving thousands of candidates in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world.

Saudi Arabia HR Advisory

Tap into the experience of our seasoned HR advisory team in Saudi Arabia. Their expertise ranges from HR policies and procedures, salary benchmark studies, and HR due diligence to sophisticated HR transformation projects. Get a speedy and precise needs analysis, and have us design, implement, and monitor the execution of any project—carried out by subject-matter experts who understand your needs, and who know what it takes for your business to stay ahead of the competition.

Saudi Arabia BPO Services

Make your business thrive and concentrate on the essentials and let Mercans’ business process outsourcing services minimize your administrative and overhead costs. Fully outsource your back-office functions to a team of HR, finance, accounting, immigration, and administration specialists. Our BPO team will take care of it all while you have the time and freedom you need to nurture your business.

Get in touch with Mercans’ Saudi Arabia payroll outsourcing, compliance, PEO/GEO and BPO specialists for a free consultation!

Download PDF: Saudi Arabia Payroll & HR Insights – Consistent Growth in Non-Oil Activity