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Saudi to set up court to settle labour disputes
November 28, 2013, 12:31 pm

Saudi is set to establish a new court to settle labour disputes between employees and their bosses in a move welcomed by South Asian diplomats in the kingdom, it was reported.

The new labour court would deal with issues such as violations to employment contracts, delays in wage payments and compensation, the Arab News said.

Labour Ministry spokesman Hattab Al Anazi said the court would operate under the Ministry of Justice, which would takeover from the Labour Ministry in handling the disputes.

The Labour Ministry received a total of 9,960 cases last year, of which 4,243 were filed by Saudi employees and 5,717 filed by foreign employees.

The report said workers often complained that employers were not implementing labour court decisions or orders, as the court lacked true judicial authority.

However, the proposed court would be under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and would be in sync with standard regular judicial systems where verdicts and decisions were forced to be implemented.

The judicial reforms, aimed at modernising the legal process, also included the establishment of separate courts for commercial and family litigations as well as restructuring the grievances board.

Abdullah Al Salafi, a prominent Riyadh-based Saudi attorney specialising in labour-related litigation, described the proposed labour court as a milestone in the Saudi judicial system.

Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai welcomed the establishment of an exclusive labour court and voiced hope that they would start operating soon.

Pakistan Consul General Aftab Ahmed Khokher praised the Saudi judiciary for the progressive action, while Bangladesh Consul General Nazmul Islam also welcomed the plan.

The Ministry of Justice will appoint judges to expedite hearings, the legal experts said.

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