‘Balanced Nitaqat’ to be unveiled

‘Balanced Nitaqat’ to be unveiled
Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani. (SPA)
Updated 12 June 2016

‘Balanced Nitaqat’ to be unveiled

‘Balanced Nitaqat’ to be unveiled

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is preparing to launch a revised Saudization program called “the balanced Nitaqat” next week.

It classifies professions based on the number of Saudi workers in a facility, but also takes into account new factors. Important among them are the average wage and women’s participation.
The matter of including the name of a Saudi employee on the lists is no longer the only effective way for the company, but also the amount of his or her salary, the number of years of service and the type of job.
Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani said that the decision came as part of the implementation of the national strategy for employment and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to increase the participation rate of women in the labor market from the current 22 percent to 30 percent.
He pointed out that the launch of the new program comes as an attempt to reduce unemployment among Saudis with the government’s move to diversify the economy away from oil.
Al-Haqabani has explained in press statements and conferences over the past weeks that the number of Saudis working in the private sector was 1.7 million, including about 477,000 women. He expressed dissatisfaction with the number of women in the Kingdom’s work force.
The unemployment rate among women in Saudi Arabia last year was 34 percent, while the unemployment rate is generally recorded at 11.5 percent, according to official data.
After decades of Saudization policy, which failed to yield satisfactory results in the reduction of unemployment among Saudis, the Ministry of Labor modified the employment quota system in the private sector in 2011. It also imposed stricter penalties on companies that did not follow the system and obligated certain sectors to hire women.
The labor minister underlined the initiatives within the National Transformation Program which includes “the balanced Nitaqat” program which includes the employment rate, the average wage of Saudis in the facility and the percentage of women.
Officials pointed out that the reform initiatives would focus on creating jobs for citizens in the private sector, with the trend to reduce spending in light of the decline in oil prices in recent months before the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030.