What the law says on jobs for expats

What the law says on jobs for expats

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Economic development and diversity in fields of business have led many non-Saudis to come to work in the country. In today’s article, we look at the most important regulations relating to the work of non-Saudis in the Kingdom.
Firstly, it is not permissible to recruit a non-Saudi without the approval of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.
It is also not permissible for a non-Saudi to take a job before obtaining a work permit from the ministry.
To obtain a license, the worker needs to have entered the country in a legal way and be authorized to work; the prospective employee has to have gained the professional competencies or educational qualifications that the country needs; there should be no citizens of the country who hold the qualifications, or not enough to meet the needs; and the worker should be under contract to an employer.
The work permit does not replace any other permit or license that is required from another ministry or authority to practice the profession.
The ministry may not renew the work permit if the employer violates the government’s criteria for nationalizing jobs within its organization.
The employment contract for non-Saudis must be in writing and for a fixed period. If the contract does not state any duration, the work permit shall be deemed to be the duration of the contract.
The employer may not employ the worker in a profession other than that stated in their work permit, and it is prohibited for individuals to work in a profession other than their licensed occupation prior to undertaking the legal procedures to change the profession.
The employer may not let his worker work for others, and the worker may not work for another employer. The ministry is responsible for inspecting establishments and investigating violations. It may then refer the issue to the Ministry of Interior to apply the prescribed penalties.
The employer must not let the non-Saudi employee work on their own account, just as the worker may not work in a self-employed capacity.
With regard to penalties, the Ministry of Interior is responsible for controlling, stopping, deporting and imposing penalties on those violating the rules, as well as the employers who concealed and transported them, and everyone who played a role in the violation.
The employer shall bear the fees for recruiting the non-Saudi worker; the residence and work permit fees; renewal fees and fines resulting from delays; the fees for changing the profession; exit and return; and a ticket for the worker’s return to their home after the end of the contractual relationship between the two parties.
The worker shall bear the costs of the return to their country if they wish to return without a legitimate reason.

Dimah Talal Al-Sharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub, and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif

 

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