Covid-19 taught us that social security is a vital part of an employee’s longevity, and employers retaining their best people after the event.
In Saudi Arabia, social insurance covers all aspects of social security, with the Saudi government agency General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) regulating the programme. GOSI collect contributions from employers, ensure lawful social security insurance schemes, and pay benefits to beneficiaries, including local and expat employees or their family members.
GOSI cover occupational hazards, unemployment insurance, and annuities, such as retirement pensions, non-occupational disability pensions, death pensions and early retirement.
In this post, we will focus on the occupational hazards scheme because it pertains to Saudi and non-Saudi employees.
- Medical insurance
GOSI insure all treatment costs in the event of an employee getting injured while working. The insurance covers all medical expenses until the employee is fully recovered.
- Daily allowance insurance
An employee suffers a temporary disability because of an employment injury. GOSI will pay a daily allowance to the injured worker throughout recovery. The employee would receive the allowance during workdays, holidays and weekends. GOSI pays out 100% of the employee’s contributions. If these contributions are depleted before completion of the treatment, the employee will receive a 75% daily allowance until the treatment is complete.
- Permanent disability or death of a Saudi employee
If a Saudi citizen gains a permanent disability, or dies because of an employment injury, the employee is entitled to a monthly benefit of 100% his/her average salary of the last three months before the injury. If the employee requires assistance, GOSI pays a 50% assistance benefit above his disability benefit, but not more than SR3,500 for this portion of the benefit.
Omar is a Saudi citizen and is injured on the job. He is now permanently 100% disabled. His benefit entitlement is SR5,000 per month because his average salary in the preceding three months was SR5,000.
If he receives assistance, he gets 50% on top of the benefit. Therefore he would receive SR5,000 + (5,000 x 50%) = SR7,500.
In the case of death, the family receives a monthly benefit, with the minimum benefit as SR1,750.
- Permanent partial disability of a Saudi employee
If a person becomes partially disabled by 50-99% in an employment injury, he/she will receive that portion of partial disability from the total disability benefit. For example, Kahlil is 70% disabled. He receives 70% of the permanent disability insurance. If he requires regular assistance in his new lifestyle, GOSI will pay 50% additional assistance insurance upon approval by a medical board.
- Lumpsum compensation for permanent disability (Saudi and non-Saudi)
If an employee is injured at work and becomes less than 50% disabled, he/she is entitled to a lumpsum compensation that is calculated on the percentage of the disability, multiplied by the total disability, depending on his/her age.
- Injured employees 40 years or younger of age receive a lumpsum of 60 times the monthly benefit. The formula is: value of total disability benefit x disability percentage x 60. However, the lumpsum may not exceed SR165,000.
Ahmed is 36. He is 48% disabled after a work accident. He claims a lumpsum based on his average salary three months up to the accident of SR4,000. His disability contribution is 48%. Therefore the lumpsum = 4,000 x 48% x 60 = SR115,200.
- If the injured employee is older than 40, GOSI reduces the compensation by the number of months equal to the number of years exceeding 40. However, the compensation may not be less than 36 times its value, and may not exceed SR165,000.
Farouq is 51. He gets injured at work and claims a 48% lumpsum for his disability after the accident. His average salary three months preceding the accident was SR4,000. His disability entitlement reduces in months with the number of years exceeding 40, which is 11. Therefore, the lumpsum = 4,000 x 48% x (60-11) = SR94,080.
- Injury compensation to non-Saudi employees
When a non-Saudi worker becomes completely disabled or dies at work, GOSI insures the employee or his/her beneficiaries for a lumpsum worth 84 months of his/her salary. The minimum benefit is SR1,750, and capped at SR330,000.
If the person is 50-99% partially disabled, the employee qualifies for a lumpsum equivalent to 60 months of the value of assumed benefit, up to SR165,000.
Additionally, GOSI covers transport expenses of a deceased worker’s body to his/her home country if death results from the injury.