According to the Directorate for Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), Saudi Arabia would now permit domestic employees to change occupations without the permission of their employer in an effort to provide them more independence.

Workers will now have the right to switch employers if their initial employer transfers them to another employer or business without their consent, if the employer terminates the employment agreement during the probationary period, if wages are not paid for three months in a row, if the employer fails to pick up the domestic worker from their port of arrival, or if the domestic worker has an open, unresolved official complaint against the original employer.

The reforms, according to Dr. Awwad Alawwad, president of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, are an illustration of new policies that give millions of foreign workers in the kingdom more freedom to move around, more job mobility, and better labour rights.

According to HRSD, “This decision is part of the ministry’s ongoing effort to enhance its policies and laws in order to make the Saudi labour market competitive and attractive.”

In 10 instances where workers were not paid their salaries and were given potentially hazardous activities, the government is already moving to transfer workers permits without the employer’s permission.