JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Monday 14 January 2013
Last update 14 January 2013 11:02 am
The Labor Ministry said yesterday that it will implement the new minimum salary system on Feb. 2 to encourage private firms to increase salaries for Saudi workers.
Under the new system a Saudi worker should be paid a salary of not less than SR3,000 to consider him/her as a full Saudi worker in the Nitaqat Saudization program.
Saudis receiving SR 1,500 are viewed as “half workers” while those receiving less than that amount are not included at all when calculating their firms’ Saudization percentage.
The ministry introduced the system to make the private sector more attractive to Saudis and cut down unemployment rate in the country.
The new system will benefit those working on a part-time basis, students, those with disabilities who are able to work and released prisoners, said Deputy Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani, adding that the ministerial decision was announced three months ago, which gave establishments a period of five months to take the necessary measures.
The ministry’s Wage Protection Program will be implemented gradually by March 1, 2013. The ministry will enforce the program by requiring companies to file their employees’ wage data. Firms that delay the filing of their wages data for two months will be subject to sanctions that include denying them all of the ministry’s services except for work licenses service. If the delay was for more than 3 months, with the continuation of blocking the ministry services, the late companies’ workers will be allowed to transfer their services to other employers without their approval.
The ministry said the decision will be implemented according to the following schedule: Firms with 3,000 workers or more will be required to file the data by June 1, companies with 2,000 workers or more will be required to do so by Sept. 2, establishments with 1,000 workers or more will be required to file their wages data by Dec. 3. Those with 500 workers or more, 200 workers or more and 100 workers or more will be obliged to file their data by March 4, 2014, July 5, 2014 and Oct. 6, 2014, respectively.