Saturday, March 05, 2005

05 March 2005

Saturday, 5, March, 2005 (24, Muharram, 1426)

Saudi Labour Law and You by Mohammed Jaber Nader

S.A. from Dammam Recently I fell sick and got treatment at a hospital near
my residence. My company refused to pay the bill, arguing that I should have
used the hospital stipulated by the company. I knew about this condition
before, but I decided to go to the nearest hospital because I was concerned
about my condition. My contract states: "Medical expenses will be paid and
the Saudi labor law will apply in cases of sickness." It doesn't state that
I must use a particular hospital. In this case, is my company legally
correct to refuse payment?

You knew about your company's regulations, which are in accordance with the
labor law which also enjoins that the employee undergoes diagnosis and
treatment with the knowledge and supervision of his employer. You did this
without your company's consent. You will have to bear responsibility for
non-compliance. The way left out for you is to explain your circumstances
and if your company still doubts your statement ask them to refer you to the
doctor of their choice to confirm what you have reported as true. It is
within your right to do that.


M.V. from Alkhobar I am working with a company in the Kingdom since 1983 and
I am planning to go on final exit in the middle of 2005. I have a question
about my service. On Nov. 15, 1990, I left on a vacation of two months and
was supposed to join duty on Jan. 15 1991. Unfortunately, due to the Gulf
War, I could not report on the supposed date and my re-entry visa expired.
Then the company sent me a new visa and I resumed duty on July 9, 1991, in
the same job. Regarding my end-of-service-benefit (ESB), should my service
be calculated as continuous from 1983? Or will it be treated as a new
service from July 1991, since I came on a new visa?

Your service should be considered as continuous. Nevertheless, the period of
absence between Jan. 15 and July 9, 1991, must be deducted from your
service. I understand your service has not been terminated or your rights
settled for the first period of service. Then, no matter what number of
contracts or visas or changes occurring to the service, as long as you have
been working for the same company during all the period, without changing
employers or terminating your first service, your service must be considered
as continuous. Your service should be treated as such and your ESB should be
calculated for all the period as one service from the day of joining to the
day the service is actually terminated.


V.R. from Riyadh I have a contract for a specified period of three years
which is coming to an end shortly. The contract includes an
end-of-the-contract gratuity payable at rate of half a month's basic salary
for every year of service. Of late, the manpower agency which recruited me
stated in all new contracts that the salary paid every month includes the
end-of-service benefit. I have got a couple of questions in this regard: (1)
Is it correct on the part of the manpower agency to state that the salary
paid includes ESB, and thereby wriggle out of its obligations under Saudi
labor law? (2) When it comes to renewing my contract and if both parties do
not enter into a specific contract, would my contract become unspecified
from the date on which the old contract matures or does it become
unspecified from day one?

As per the Saudi labor law, ESB must be paid at the end of the service. So,
it is illegal to pay it along with the monthly salary and mention this in
the employment contract. As to your employment contract, if a new contract
is signed after the maturity of the present contract then your contract will
be treated as specified contract. If a new contract is not signed and the
service continues, then your contract would become un-specified from the
first day of your employment.


This day in history

1953: Soviet leader 'on brink of death' Rumours are circulating in Moscow
that Joseph Stalin, the long-time leader of the Soviet Union, is near death.
The first official news of Mr Stalin's illness came in a statement on

It said the Soviet leader, who came to power in 1928, had suffered a
cerebral haemorrhage on Wednesday night.

An update issued earlier today mentioned "sharp disturbances of the heart

There is speculation that the 73-year-old, born Iosif Vissarionovich
Dzhugashvili, in the Soviet republic of Georgia, is now in the final stages
of an illness he has been suffering some time.

Soviet newspapers today are clearly preparing their readers for the worst.

Their front pages carry the bulletins on Mr Stalin's health as well as
sombre leading articles.

On the inside pages, feature articles praise the Soviet leader both as a man
and politician.


World leaders have expressed concern for Mr Stalin's health.

A statement issued by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said his
private secretary, John Colville, had yesterday called on the Soviet

Mr Colville had passed on the prime minister's regret at the news of Mr
Stalin's ill-health and asked to be kept informed of his progress, the
statement said.

US President Truman also expressed sympathy for Mr Stalin.

"I am sorry just as I would be if such a thing happened to any other
acquaintance of mine," Mr Truman said.

If Mr Stalin's death is confirmed, he will be most remembered for
instigating political purges in which tens of thousands were killed.

He was also behind the introduction of farming collectives which led to a
famine and the death of up to 10 million people.

His death is expected to provoke a power struggle within the ruling

The death of Joseph Stalin was officially announced at just after 0100 GMT
on 6 March.

The statement said he had died at 2150 local time on 5 March.

Hundreds of thousands of people queued to see Joseph Stalin's body

He was embalmed and put on display alongside the first Soviet leader,
Vladimir Illyich Lenin, in his mausoleum in Red Square in Moscow.

But Nikita Khrushchev, who became Soviet leader after a power struggle, led
a move to denounce Stalin as a tyrant who caused millions of deaths.

In 1961 Stalin's body was removed from its place in the honoured Lenin's

It was reburied near the Kremlin wall along with other minor figures from
the Bolshevik Revolution.


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