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Saudi Arabia

Labor arbitration center ready for launch: Ministry adviser

JEDDAH: A labor arbitration center is ready for launch to protect those in the labor market, Abdullah Al-Abdullatif, adviser to the justice minister, said Wednesday at the Development Dialogue Symposium in Riyadh.
The Justice Ministry plans to establish a modern labor court as part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and Vision 2030, he added.
Studies reveal that most labor disputes are attributed to gaps in labor regulations, and many of these gaps have been rectified by recent amendments to the law, including Article 77 on arbitrary sacking of employees, Al-Abdullatif said.
There are 32 labor panels comprising 172 arbitrators currently handling labor cases in the Kingdom, he added. The number of cases is increasing this year, mainly due to the government’s residency-status correction campaigns that have uncovered violations, he said.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development received more than 165 labor dispute cases every day in 2016, totaling 58,504, of which roughly 55 percent were filed by foreign laborers.
According to a government report published by Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper, non-Saudi workers filed 32,095 cases, including work-related injuries.
About 11 percent, or 6,813 of the cases, were settled by reconciliation at the ministry’s offices across the Kingdom.
Most cases were filed in the cities of Makkah and Riyadh — 12,995 and 12,077, respectively — followed by the Eastern Province with 5,035.

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