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.


Apple Pay launched in Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 min 40 sec ago
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Apple Pay launched in Saudi Arabia

  • Apple Pay joins Sadad and mada Pay as another option to join the cashless roster of payment methods available to Saudi consumers
RIYADH: Apple launched its payment service in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, with Visa customers in the Kingdom now able to buy almost anything with their iPhones.
Apple Pay was first trailed in the Saudi market last October, with the tech giant promising the option would soon be available. Months later Apple Pay was launched nationwide.
In a statement published by Arabian Business, Visa general manager for Saudi Arabia, Ali Bailoun, said: “As a country filled with tech-savvy, mobile-first consumers, we are delighted to work with Saudi Payments and our bank partners to help bring Apple Pay to Visa cardholders here, making their payments experience easier, faster and more secure than ever before.”
Apple Pay joins Sadad and mada Pay as another option to join the cashless roster of payment methods available to Saudi consumers.
The regional webpage for the service lists some of the high-profile retailers where Apple Pay can be used. These include Carrefour, Al Baik, Sephora, Lacoste, Starbucks and Homecentre.