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.


King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at the launch of a three-day festival of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday in Ad Diriyah, near Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 14 December 2018
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King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

  • Enrique Iglesias took the stage in an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah
  • The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical

RIYADH: Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival  of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday with a stunning concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah.

The king of Latin pop took the stage by storm and stole the hearts of thousands in the crowd, whose screams could be heard from a long way away. “I love you Enrique,” a group of girls in the audience shouted.

As he waved his hand back and forth in the air, the crowd started doing the same while jumping up and down. The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical. 

No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. The singer asked the crowd if they spoke Spanish, and everyone screamed “Yes.”

While stage smoke poured into the arena a female performer sang a duet with Iglesias, who then delighted the crowd with some impromptu salsa dancing in front of the stage.

Fans waved their uplifted phones with their screens and flashes along with the music, while others tried to capture the performance.

“You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape my love,” sang Iglesias while the crowd screamed.

Earlier the R&B singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo persuaded the crowd to put on their dancing shoes with an energetic set.

“Saudi, whassup! This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” he told the audience. He said his mother taught him to never visit empty handed, so his gift to Saudi Arabia was the debut performance of a new song.

Thursday’s entertainment will be followed on Friday by shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival comes on Saturday with the Saudia Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta.