Firms, idlers connive to beat Nitaqat



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Thursday 17 January 2013

Last update 17 January 2013 2:50 pm

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Companies in the red zone are striking illegal deals with unemployed Saudi students and people with special needs to fill their Saudization quotas, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported.
These red zone companies are paying Saudis to use their names so they can move to the green and yellow zones and benefit from the Ministry of Labor's incentive scheme under the Nitaqat program.
The deals are being organized through a well-known marketing website with the operators claiming that they have good intentions. They say they earn a commission and unemployed Saudis are able to make between SR500 and SR1,000 for staying at home.
The advertisement on the website states explicitly, "Saudization wanted," with a line explaining the terms: "Any person who wants to join the Saudization process at firms should be over 18 years of age and not registered for Social Security." Interested applicants are asked to email their details to an address provided.
One of the intermediaries said that his business is to find students and unemployed people for firms and companies asking for this. "I personally do not see anything wrong with this..." He added that many students only have allowances of SR700 and need the extra money.
Individual Saudis are also advertising their services for the illegal Saudization deals. One applicant said in an advertisement: "I want a phony Saudization job if available with a salary of SR1,500 to SR2,000, and I can help by bringing more persons if needed."
One Saudi asked for a job for his wife who was removed from the Hafez program, while another said: "A big opportunity for major firms and corporations, persons with special needs available to have their names registered on the Social Security list of your firm with a monthly salary and official contracts. No need to go to work at all."
Another intermediary pledged to register 80 names of Saudi youths with his advertisement saying, "Saudization without going to work," stressing that he has in his possession contracts, approval agreements and identity documents.
Some companies have advertised for help to move out of the red zone bottleneck, without stating the salary explicitly.
With the imminent introduction of a minimum wage system, companies and firms are obliged to pay Saudi employees not less than SR1,500 from 21/3/1434 (Feb. 1, 2013). This means that phony Saudization employees will get a salary increase, and benefit from the Kingdom's social security system.
Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih said earlier that any Saudi worker who earns SR1,500 a month will be calculated as half a worker under the Nitaqat program. Those earning less than SR1,500 cannot be added to a company's Saudization quota.
Hattab Al-Anzi, media spokesman of the Ministry of Labor, said that the government is putting in place programs that will make it better to hire Saudis full time rather than signing them up as phony employees. He added that the ministry's inspectors are continuing their surprise visits to companies and that violators will be penalized.

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