There is a lot of confusion about “absconding (huroob)” and “absent from work” and most of the times, both terms are used interchangeably. However both are different and have different legal implications and consequences.
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Definition of (Huroob) Absconding and Absenteeism
Absconding or huroob is considered when a worker runs away from the job without informing his employer with an intent not to return to the work.
While the absenteeism represent a worker who is repeatedly absent from work without any valid reason other than illness, allowed leave or due to other emergency.
If the employer reports a worker with Huroob status, the worker may face severe penalties including huge fines or imprisonment with deportation from the country. The Saudi authorities has set regulations in order to protect the worker from huroob unless the worker violates it and isn’t willing to get benefit from the law.
In Saudi Arabia, the law bound the employers to report huroob for absconders. However, now the ministry of labor gives the worker a chance either transfer sponsorship or leave the country on the final exit visa during the contract period or after its expiry to avoid it.
How Long It is Considered Being Absent From Work
According to the Labor law in Saudi Arabia, The employer can report huroob if an employer is absent for work for a period of more than 30 days.
If the worker or the employer doesn’t take any action within 60 days, the employee’s status becomes “absent from work” in labor ministry and all other relevant databases (absher etc.) After the stipulated time period the absentee worker becomes illegal and loses all rights, protections and privileges he gets under the law.
It should also be noted that terminating an employee itself doesn’t terminate the relationship of the worker and the employer unless the absconding is reported.
However, if the employee is absent than the sponsor will serve a notice of absenteeism and may ask the worker to give solid reason about being absent from work.
According to the labor law, an employee cannot terminate the absent worker without serving him a notice.
Serving The Notice To Absentee Worker
The employer has rights to serve the absentee notice if the worker is ;
- Absent from work for more than 30 days at regular intervals during the period of 1 year of the contract.
- Absent from work for consecutive 15 days without any justified reason
- The employer may serve a notice in case of 20 days absentee and serve the 2nd notice in case of 10 executive absentee from work.
- The employer can dismiss the worker after serving the notices in case the worker fails to submit a satisfactory reason of the absenteeism.
Sponsorship Transfer Under Huroob
According to the new huroob updates, the employer can transfer sponsorship of the absconding worker or remove huroob incase of the friendly settlement occurs.
However the sponsorship transfer doesn’t cancel huroob status but it changes huroob report to absentee report in ministry’s record.
How Can You Protect Yourself Against These Reports.
The best thing to avoid such situations is that always be on the work. Keep contact with your employer or HR department. In case of illness or emergency always inform your sponsor so that he may know the problem you are facing.
However sometimes, the bad relations or wrong intentions of the employer can lead to report a false huroob. In that case, you can file a lawsuit in labor office. Furthermore you can also opt for the new employer within the period of 60 days or go back to your country on final exit visa.
If you decide to return to your country, you can come back to Saudi Arabia on the new visa anytime.