Stiffer penalties for absentee workers and those who employ them

Stiffer penalties for absentee workers and those who employ them
In this May 2013 file photo, expatriate workers queue at a labor office in Riyadh to avail themselves of an amnesty program offered by the government for runaway workers. (AN file photo)
Updated 18 August 2016

Stiffer penalties for absentee workers and those who employ them

Stiffer penalties for absentee workers and those who employ them

JEDDAH: The General Directorate of Passports announced on Thursday that foreign workers who absent themselves from work without permission will each be fined SR10,000, deported and banned from entering the Kingdom.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the directorate also warned that those who shelter, transport and employ irregular workers will face a fine of SR100,000, a prison term of up to six months, a ban on recruiting workers for five years and deportation for the violating expatriates.
The directorate has called on citizens and expatriates to comply with the rules and regulations and report to authorities workers who are in violation of residency and work laws, including absentee workers, notably housemaids.
Talal Al-Shalhoub, spokesman for the directorate, said the announcement was a reiteration of previous reminders for expats and citizens alike to abide by the law.
In 2013, the Kingdom issued an amnesty program allowing irregular workers to correct their work status. The program allowed tens of thousands of expats to legalize their papers. The program also allowed many others who have been illegally staying in the Kingdom to exit.
Under the law, employers who fail to report to the government workers who have absconded from work are also face penalties.
The General Directorate of Passports's announcement on Thursday reminded employers to report the absence of a worker electronically via the Ministry of Interior’s Absher portal or via 989.