1,441 firms shut for not complying with salary protection program

Updated 27 October 2015
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1,441 firms shut for not complying with salary protection program

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has shut down 1,441 firms due to their failure to safeguard workers' wages, according to a ministry report released in the capital recently.
The report said that 48 percent of the total establishments did not comply with the ministry program concerning the Wages Protection Scheme. The ministry also shut down the computer services of the 89 establishments for their lack of response in terms of the resolution of complaints made by employees under the protection and welfare program for migrant workers.
According to the report, the MoL has settled nearly 675 cases of disputes, while 121,000 cases are currently pending within the preliminary courts for settlement. This marks an increase of 91 percent in the total number of cases in comparison to the previous year.
As for the private sector, the report said that 530,000 cases have been registered, including 6,329 by female workers. There are also more than 228,000 runaway cases inside the country, and 296,000 abroad.
The MoL report was based on its financial report in 2014 and 2015, which found that the ministry witnessed an increase in the number of Saudi employees in the private sector to 347,000, of whom 322,000 had only recently found new employment.
The report said the number of males was higher than the number of females in the new workforce, representing 59 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
With regard to the Nitaqat program, the report revealed the compliance of more than 1.2 million firms with the MoL regulation, qualifying them to advance into the green and platinum categories in terms of the Saudization of jobs across the country.
But the same report noted that 612,000 companies had failed to hire the required number of Saudis in their establishments, which pushed them into the red and yellow categories, which are very negative.
However, the report indicates a rise in the number of Saudi women in the workforce by 11,236, representing a three percent increase from the previous year.
Overall, the report note that these increases have contributed to the increase of business activities in wholesale, retail, social services trades, financial sectors, insurance and real estate, manufacturing industries, in addition to mining and oil extraction sectors.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.