Saudi Arabia launches app to raise awareness of worker rights

The Labour Calculator app aims to get workers, employers and the government on the same page when it comes to rights

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ANDRE PAIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10531640c)
An aerial view shows the skyline of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 10 January 2020 (issued 21 January 2020).
Riyadh architecture, Saudi Arabia - 10 Jan 2020
Powered by automated translation

A new app from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice aims to give workers more information on their rights.

The Labour Calculator, launched on Friday, was created to protect workers from exploitation and unfair labour practices, said officials.

Users will have online access to digitised contract documents,  so they can see at a glance their terms and conditions.

This scope for heightened scrutiny should help ensure employers adhere to the terms of  an employee's contract.

The makers of the app hope the shared online resource could streamline court proceedings, if a labour dispute escalates to legal action.

However, by helping employees know their rights, it could also avoid more serious disputes, said officials.

The app will also help provide workers with complete information about existing legislation and updates of labour rights in the kingdom.

This could be especially useful for newly arrived workers and  staff in dispute with employers over issues such as end-of-contract benefits, agreed terms of paid leave and entitlement to severance pay if their employment is suddenly terminated.

“The Labour Calculator aims to promote legal awareness, facilitate the application of the Labour Law and regulations, and ensure the accuracy of financial labour calculations," the ministry said.

"The calculator is comprehensive and user-friendly, includes all sections on a single web page, and allows users to print out results.”

Accessing that information could prove a quicker process than reaching out to a human resources department, which could be problematic for employees who feel their employers could exploit their situation and renege on contractual obligations.

The new e-service is another step towards Saudi Arabia's goal of digitising all services for foreign workers.

Ministry of Justice e-services now include uploading personal documents, issuing judgements, appealing verdicts and remote hearings and proceedings.