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A way-out for expats working in red and yellow category firms

JEDDAH: The Labor Ministry announced yesterday that foreign workers in red and yellow category firms would be allowed to move freely to green and platinum companies.
Expatriates intending to transfer their jobs may log on to the ministry’s website that offer them jobs in green and platinum Nitaqat categories.
“We have stopped renewing work permits of expatriates in yellow category firms who have completed six or more years in the Kingdom,” the ministry said.
Such workers have to seek jobs in green and platinum categories. Those workers who have not completed six years can renew their work permits and continue with the present employer if they want to do so.
An official source said the Taqat employment platform on the ministry’s website is for Saudis who seek jobs and is supported by the Human Resource Development Fund.
“This site helps both employers and Saudi job seekers to achieve their objectives with utmost efficiency and little effort,” the source said. Saudi job seekers need not run after companies while employers need not spend money on job advertisements.
“Our main objective is to supply adequate number of workers required by the private sector, including Saudis and expatriates,” the ministry said.
The source refuted allegations that the ministry was putting restrictions on foreign recruitment. “We have allowed recruitment of 1.1 million foreign workers in 2010 to meet the requirements of growing economic activities in the Kingdom,” he said.
The website is devoted to expats residing in Saudi Arabia and working for entities that are classified in Red or Yellow categories of Nitaqat program.
For expats working on Yellow Nitaq entities, starting Feb. 23, 2012, their work permit renewal will be conditional to their tenure in Saudi Arabia; if they stayed less than six years in the Kingdom they can renew their work permit with the current employer. However, if they stayed six years or more they have to find a new employer in premium and green categories.
“Expats working in red or yellow entities can find jobs in premium and green firms on this website or by calling 920011884,” the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor has granted its inspectors the power to detect violations made by recruitment companies.
Ministry officials have inspected some recruitment companies. Among other things, the ministry examined the operational mechanisms adopted by the companies, their level of commitment to providing quality services to clients, as well as the employees’ accommodations and their means of subsistence.

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