Time ‘ripe for job market reforms’

Updated 18 October 2015
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Time ‘ripe for job market reforms’

RIYADH: Thirty-eight new amendments to the labor law approved by the Council of Ministers will spur the Saudi labor market by providing guarantees to the private sector employees and employers and ensuring that their rights are protected, said Deputy Labor Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan said.
“The amendments are the result of years of studies and include many aspects that concern citizens, the market, employers and the employees,” he said.
“It is the appropriate time to restructure the labor market which hasn’t been revamped in this manner for more than 10 years,” he said.
The new regulations focus on organizing and improving the performance of the labor market and will help in managing the relationship between the employers and the employees, as well as provide more flexibility, he said.
Al-Humaidan unveiled the new amendments at a press conference in Riyadh which will take effect next week.
The amendments include “changes to support nationalization; providing more benefits to compliant companies; training of Saudi nationals; and providing an appropriate work environment for women employees.”
They also include regulations for labor contracts to protect the rights of both parties. A list of regulations, which includes comprehensive rules for organizing work relationship as well as provisions relating to offenses and disciplinary actions are part of the amendments.
The regulations aim to ensure the unification of workers’ rights in the Kingdom and the labor market.
The employer may include additional terms and conditions to the work agreement, but those must be consistent with the provisions of the regulations.
The amendments also include a standard unified work contract, which includes the name of the employer and location, name and nationality of the employee, an address of residence, agreed salary with benefits and allowances, the period of the work contract and other provisions compliant with the regulations.
The new amendments provide the employee and the employer a chance to prove their professional competency by extending the probation period to not more than 180 days, based on a written agreement. An employee’s probation can only be extended or re-implemented for the same employer should the job title change or the employee spends at least six months with another employer.
The fixed contract period has been extended to between three and four years, and is then converted to an unspecified period contract should the contract be renewed three times consecutively, or if the original contract exceeds four years. The amendments also include provisions that protect workers from unjust firing and provide more flexibility for movement within the market.
“The new amendments protect workers while providing new job opportunities and are in line with labor market needs,” said Al-Humaidan.
“The ministry reserves the right to prevent the renewal of any work permits if the employer violates nationalization requirements.”
Training for number of Saudi nationals has also been increased. An employer with 50 or more employees must train at least 12 percent of the total number of employees annually, rather than 6 percent.
This includes Saudis who are completing their studies, if the employer is covering the cost of education. In turn, the trainee must repay the cost of training to the employer if he or she refuses or doesn’t work after the training period.


Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019
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Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

  • 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures

RIYADH: Nearly 3 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report.
Since the campaign began in November 2017, there have been 2,987,317 offenders, including 2,328,031 for violating residency regulations, 458,591 for labor violations and 200,695 for border violations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The report said that 50,388 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, 50 percent of whom were Yemeni citizens, 47 percent were Ethiopians and 3 percent were of other nationalities.
2,135 people were arrested for trying to cross the border into neighboring countries and 3,697 were arrested for involvement in transporting and harboring those violators. 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures.
Immediate penalties were imposed against 443,210 offenders; 405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents; 507,042 were transferred to complete their travel reservations; and 750,504 were deported.