Employers have been facing many difficult and untested employment law issues over the last year and a half with COVID-19 and the impact it is having on their business. One of the most critical of these issues is whether they can make vaccination compulsory for their employees. On 7 May 2021, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (“MHRSD”) announced that it would be mandatory for public and private sector workers to be vaccinated in order to attend the workplace. On 18 May 2021, the Ministry of Interior (“MoI”) clarified that this mandate would come into force on 1 August 2021.
On 4 November 2020, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) announced certain labor reforms for foreign national employees working in the private sector that will come into effect on 14 March 2021. Since the initial announcement, the MHRSD (in coordination with the National Transformation Program and National Information Center) announced the conditions in order to benefit from each of the initiatives.
Recent developments in the labour laws of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been issued to bridge the gender pay gap between men and women. The updates have been in relation to: (i) prohibiting discrimination, whether in pay or otherwise, between male and female employees who carry out the same job in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; (ii) introducing paternity leave in the UAE; and (iii) granting female workers in Saudi Arabia further rights in the workplace (including working in hazardous workplaces and at night).