1,441 firms shut for not complying with salary protection program

Updated 27 October 2015

1,441 firms shut for not complying with salary protection program

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has shut down 1,441 firms due to their failure to safeguard workers' wages, according to a ministry report released in the capital recently.
The report said that 48 percent of the total establishments did not comply with the ministry program concerning the Wages Protection Scheme. The ministry also shut down the computer services of the 89 establishments for their lack of response in terms of the resolution of complaints made by employees under the protection and welfare program for migrant workers.
According to the report, the MoL has settled nearly 675 cases of disputes, while 121,000 cases are currently pending within the preliminary courts for settlement. This marks an increase of 91 percent in the total number of cases in comparison to the previous year.
As for the private sector, the report said that 530,000 cases have been registered, including 6,329 by female workers. There are also more than 228,000 runaway cases inside the country, and 296,000 abroad.
The MoL report was based on its financial report in 2014 and 2015, which found that the ministry witnessed an increase in the number of Saudi employees in the private sector to 347,000, of whom 322,000 had only recently found new employment.
The report said the number of males was higher than the number of females in the new workforce, representing 59 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
With regard to the Nitaqat program, the report revealed the compliance of more than 1.2 million firms with the MoL regulation, qualifying them to advance into the green and platinum categories in terms of the Saudization of jobs across the country.
But the same report noted that 612,000 companies had failed to hire the required number of Saudis in their establishments, which pushed them into the red and yellow categories, which are very negative.
However, the report indicates a rise in the number of Saudi women in the workforce by 11,236, representing a three percent increase from the previous year.
Overall, the report note that these increases have contributed to the increase of business activities in wholesale, retail, social services trades, financial sectors, insurance and real estate, manufacturing industries, in addition to mining and oil extraction sectors.


Riyadh Global Digital Health summit looks at technology in combating COVID-19

Updated 11 min 28 sec ago

Riyadh Global Digital Health summit looks at technology in combating COVID-19

RIYADH: As part of the programs of the Saudi Secretariat for the G20, a two-day virtual global summit for digital health was launched in Riyadh on Tuesday.
It aims to adopt new technological solutions, improve quality and accessibility, and reduce costs to counter the negative effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy, CEO Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs and summit president, highlighted the steps taken by the Kingdom in the wake of the pandemic and the successful organization of the annual Hajj pilgrimage amid the health crisis.
WHO Chief Information Officer Bernardo Mariano Jr. reviewed the role of his organization in combating epidemics. He said the coronavirus pandemic has not only affected public health but it has also affected economic and social aspects of human life.
Mariano Jr. gave a presentation on how to deal with epidemics in the era of digital technology. He deplored that the public health sector was not as digitally advanced as other sectors such as media, finance, and education.
He urged measures to ensure the rapid transformation of the health sector along modern lines.
Panel discussions were also held on the first day of the summit covering several health-related issues and on ways to deal with diseases using modern technology.
The summit brought together leaders of health care systems, public health, digital health, academic institutions, and businesses to discuss the vital role of digital health in the fight against current and future pandemics.
It has been organized by the Ministry of National Guard’s Health Affairs Department and G20 Saudi Secretariat, in collaboration with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships.

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WEDNESDAY -  DAY TWO

13:30 (BST) - We're into the afternoon panel titled The Role of Wellness Technology, during which Dr. Arif M. Rana talks about where we are at with wearable technologies and their uses in healthcare and where we could end up in the future.

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TUESDAY - DAY ONE

16:30 (BST)

15:30 (BST) - Dr. Johkdar of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health explains how Saudi Arabia used five elements to handle the COVID-19 pandemic - and continue to handle it - adding where the Kingdom has achieved and where it can improve going forward.

14:30 (BST) - Dr. Erik Volz, senior lecturer at Imperial College's School of Medicine has discussed global predictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining how new prediction models have assisted in that.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington, talks specifically about the Middle East region. He cross-examines why Saudi Arabia's good handling of the virus has meant it did not need to go into an extended lockdown, whereas Iran's handling has led to more cases and deaths than there should have been if the virus has been handled properly.