30-point blueprint for private firms

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Updated 03 June 2013
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30-point blueprint for private firms

The Ministry of Labor yesterday announced its plan to introduce a strategic program to evaluate the performance of firms across the country as part of its ongoing efforts to make them comply with the country’s labor regulations and protect the rights of workers.
“The program, which will be launched early next year, aims at intensifying the ministry’s monitoring system for some 1.2 million firms and raise their awareness of labor regulations,” said Abdullah bin Nasser Abuthnain, deputy minister for inspections.
The ministry has set out 30 criteria for firms to ensure their excellence. They include payment of workers’ wages on time, not asking employees to work more than eight hours or 48 hours a week and payment of gratuity. During Ramadan, Muslim workers should not be asked to work more than six hours daily and 36 hours weekly. In addition, a firm should not hold any wage, or part of it, without a court order.
Other major criteria include the fact that firms should use Arabic as the official language in their statements, files and contracts; prepare an internal work organizing system and get it approved by the ministry; appoint a person to represent the firm’s owner at workplace; and employ Saudis and provide them with suitable working atmosphere.
There are certain criteria related to women workers. Firms should give them special leave as required and should not ask them to do jobs that do not suit their nature, in addition to following the rules of employing women.
“Foreigners should not be employed without obtaining labor permits, nor should they be employed in a profession that is not mentioned in the permit. Firms should not allow its employees to work for others or on their own,” the ministry explained.
It is the duty of the firm to pay all fees for the recruitment of workers as well as fees for issuing residency permits and work permits and for their renewal and related fines, the fee of changing profession, exit/re-entry visas and for the ticket for a worker to return to home country after the end of contract.
“The firm should also try to replace its foreign workers by Saudis gradually by providing them with necessary training,” the ministry said. Firms having 50 or more workers should train at least six percent of Saudi workers.
Firms having 25 or more workers should employ people of special needs (at least four percent), and injured workers should be given suitable jobs in the institution and this should not deny them the right to get compensation for the injury. The calculation for overtime payment will be at the rate of not less than 150 percent of the basic wage.
The firms have to fill an evaluation form that has been prepared on the basis of certain criteria to know how far they comply with labor rules and the ministry’s decisions. The program will assist the ministry’s inspections.
The ministry held a workshop on the program at Marriott Hotel in Riyadh on Tuesday in the presence of representatives from the Council of Saudi Chambers, the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and 70 private firms as well as business executives.
“This program will be applied on firms electronically through the ministry’s website,” said Abuthnain. “It will not nullify the role of inspectors but help them,” he said during the workshop. “We are planning to announce certain incentives for firms that follow the criteria set by the ministry for their excellent performance,” he said.


KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

Updated 2 min 44 sec ago
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KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

  • The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
  • The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will be one of the most attractive countries for tourism because of its location, its unique tourist and historic elements and its hospitable and welcoming people, said Prince Sultan bin Salman.
Prince Sultan, who is president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told the annual conference of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires that the efforts of the SCTH and its partners in localizing tourist jobs resulted in an increase in the number of direct jobs in the tourism sector from 936,000 in 2016 to 993,000 by the end of 2017. The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
He said the contributions of tourism to the national GDP amounted to 3.6 percent, up to 4.9 percent of the national non-oil output, and the revenues of the tourism sector reached SR97.5 billion ($26 billion). Direct jobs in the tourism sector exceeded 994,000, and the proportion of Saudi citizens currently employed in the sector is about 28 percent.
The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program, which takes care of the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.
The program includes the establishment of 18 museums in the Kingdom’s regions, the creation of 80 heritage sites and opening them to visitors throughout the Kingdom, the restoration and preparation of 18 villages and traditional towns to receive visitors, and hosting economic and local hospitality activities operated by local people, as well as opening 17 centers for artisans that serve as incubators for the development of their businesses, factories for their production, and outlets for sale.
Prince Sultan also noted that after the SCTH completed the registration of the first four sites on the World Heritage List (Madain Saleh, Al-Tarif district in Jeddah, historic Jeddah, rock inscriptions in Jubba and Shuweis in Hail), it has been working with its partners to complete the registration files of six additional sites. Also, 20 additional important Islamic sites are being rehabilitated and prepared in Makkah and Madinah.
The conference was attended by more than 1,200 prominent investors and key corporate officials in tourism.
The WTTC is the largest gathering of investors and private sector professionals working in tourism around the world.