Hundreds of Indian migrant workers who were laid off by a construction company in Saudi Arabia due to the coronavirus pandemic have filed a rare complaint to the Indian government over unpaid earnings, lawyers and campaigners said.

More than 280 labourers – who were fired by the Nasser S Al Hajri Corporation before being flown home on chartered flights in July – are part of what is believed to be the biggest collective case of its kind, said their lawyer Subhash Chand.

Chand said all of the workers had been at the firm for at least five years – some over a decade – and were entitled to a “substantial amount” in outstanding end-of-contract benefits.