Companies misuse Nitaqat concession

Updated 01 December 2014
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Companies misuse Nitaqat concession

An official at the Ministry of Labor said inspection teams from the ministry are closely monitoring companies who have been exploiting people with disabilities in order to boost their Saudization rates.
Taiseer Al-Mofraj, head of the media department at the Ministry of Labor, said officials check on employees with disabilities during inspection rounds to identify the nature of the work, their presence at the job, and the type of arrangements and services provided to them, noting that the number of people with disabilities employed at a facility cannot exceed 10 percent.
If employees with disabilities in a firm exceed more than 10 percent of the total number of Saudi employees, then each disabled worker is calculated like any other Saudi.
“It is unfortunate that there are some companies and individuals who exploit people with disabilities to pump up their Saudization rates,” Al-Mofraj said.
Saudi workers with disabilities who are able to work are counted as four employees in the Saudization ratio. They must be paid a minimum monthly wage of 3,000 riyals and should not be counted as part of the Saudization ratio of another establishment.
Al-Mofraj’s comments came in response to recent reports which reveal that companies have been hiring Saudis with disabilities in order to boost Saudization rates as these disabled employees count as four employees, thus saving the company from hiring able-bodied Saudi employees at higher salaries.
An executive at a private company said there are some people with disabilities who present themselves to the companies for employment in return for salaries, bonuses, and benefits. Companies are thus paying less to a disabled employee who is equal to four Saudis than they would if they hired four Saudis with salaries of more than SR20,000 each.
“They offer their services. Some companies accept, others refuse,” he added, stressing the importance of the establishment of accredited bodies to determine the nature and type of disability, as some employees do not suffer obvious disabilities but have certificates to prove them.
Al-Mofraj said the Ministry of Labor and other agencies work together regarding the issue of employees with disabilities, noting that the Ministry of Labor determines the nature of disability upon interviewing the employee.
He said the ministry has currently posted a draft to the disability employment legislation on the “Together We Improve” portal for discussion before making a decision to amend the definition of disability work and conditions for employment stipulated in Article 13.
He said in order for a disabled employee to count as more than one employee in Nitaqat, the individual must hold a license or identification card from the Ministry of Social Affairs or Ministry of Labor indicating the type and degree of disability. Further, work conditions and systems must be acceptable and suitable for employees based on the type of disability, and establishments should ensure all services are in place before the employee begins work.


New Saudi tourism app offers 3 innovative technology solutions

Updated 8 min 4 sec ago
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New Saudi tourism app offers 3 innovative technology solutions

RIYADH: Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) launched on Monday the Holo Journey project as the first application in the world integrating three innovative technology solutions for enhancing the tourism experience and national heritage.
The SCTH’s Vice President for Support, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, stressed that the achievement has come in line with the vision of SCTH’s President Prince Sultan bin Salman, in adopting and keeping abreast of the latest technologies to serve the tourism and the national heritage sector in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s vision on the tourism sector is based on its basic values and culture, followed by the economic importance and regional and international weight it enjoys.
Separately, Prince Sultan inspected the ongoing work to develop Rijal Alma village in Asir region recently.
He met the team assigned to implement urgent projects and development to register the village on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Saudi leadership aims to make the Kingdom a distinctive tourist destination, Prince Sultan said.
The tourism sector represents a new economic resource that will provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, he added.
Prince Sultan praised the people of Asir region, particularly those who live in Rijal Alma, for their belief in preserving national heritage.
The village will be transformed into a global tourist attraction, highlighting Asir’s history and heritage, he said.
The village of Rijal Alma had won the Prince Sultan bin Salman Award for Urban Heritage in 2007 and has become a tourist destination for those visiting the region of Asir. This importance comes as a result of the numerous historical, cultural, heritage and natural factors, and the hospitality and culture of its residents.
The SCTH, since its inception, has accorded a great deal of attention to Asir as a major tourist destination, he added.
Initiatives include “tourism projects and activities on the Red Sea, the rehabilitation of heritage sites and villages, the establishment of museums,” and “the stimulation of tourism and hotel investment,” Prince Sultan said.