Saudi Arabia: Saudi Style Thinking Caps Only Please

Any expatriate who works for an extended period of time in Saudi Arabia is entitled to an End of Service Benefit (ESB).  For many, the ESB is the same as retirement pay or at least used towards retirement.  The ESB is not a “nice to have” payment at the end of one’s employment in the Kingdom but a payment to which an expatriate is entitled under Saudi law.

A case of an expatriate who has spent ten years in the Kingdom working for a very senior member of the Royal Family has been brought to my attention.  The expatriate was notified by a staff member of the Royal that the services would no longer be needed.  No explanation.  No notice.  No exit interview.  This, after ten years of loyal service.  Pouring more salt into the open wound, queries about the ESB have been ignored.

The expatriate did engage the services of a Saudi lawyer to pursue receipt of the ESB.  However, the Saudi lawyer seems more fearful of offending the Royal than addressing the needs and concerns of his client.

The expatriate remains in the Kingdom while this issue is unresolved.  If an expatriate chooses to leave the Kingdom without resolve of the ESB it is basically the same as forfeiting the payment.

So now, what does the expatriate do?  Requests for an appointment with the Royal have not been acknowledged.  The staff of the Royal are very good at giving the expatriate the run-around.

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Saudi Arabia.  At the same time, I can not tolerate and be quiet when  I learn of such an injustice.  I personally know the expatriate and vouch for the ethics, dignity and professionalism of the individual.

For those who have experience and understanding of the Saudi law and knowledge of the ESB, your suggestions and recommendations are requested.

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8 Responses

  1. Legal laws are considered antithesis to Islamic laws in Saudi Arabia. If that’s the case, how could justice be had in Saudi religious court, especially for non-Muslims?

  2. That’s Saudi ethics for you.

  3. What a sticky wicket! I hope there is someone with a better idea than I have. My ideas: approach a different royal, send a quote from Koran about honoring contracts (is there such a thing?), go to the press.

  4. Thank you, Annie, for your suggestions.

    Other suggestions are most welcomed.

  5. I hate to give such a bad suggestion but… saudi is a shame based society, I’d say use that. shame the royal in public and maybe something will come out of it. at the very least it will warn future employees and prepare them for what’s to come.
    I’d say a few quotes about cheating, honoring contracts especially from the quran won’t be remiss….
    unfortunately there’s not much one can do against a royal, they rate high up inthe saudi scale and rules that apply to mere mortals don’t apply to them.. maybe get the help of a stronger royal !!!!! ( hard since they tend to stick to each other especially where money is concerned)

  6. I have to admit that I am VERY surprised when I learned that this particular Royal has not honored the ESB. I want to give the benefit of the doubt and believe he is removed from the administrative details and has believed his staff to have taken care of this entitlement.

    This Royal’s name would be instantly recognized and among the highest echelon of the Family.

  7. I like Radhaa’s suggestion

  8. Perhaps getting a top influential person acting as a mediator between the royal and the ex-employee is the best thing to do.

    I would not advise putting things in public unless it is really last last resort. The royal can quickly get him/her out on the next plane without having even the time to get the info printed. This is a very well-connected society and people who are in the media will not burn bridges with royals for someone’s ESB.

    Perhaps, register a human rights violation, and mention clearly to the one registering the complaint that you want it solve ASAP and do not want to make any public announcements about it.

    I’ll pray for you and hope that things will be OK.

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