SR3,000 minimum salary set for Saudis in private firms

Updated 14 January 2013

SR3,000 minimum salary set for Saudis in private firms

The Labor Ministry said yesterday that it would implement the new minimum salary system on Feb. 2 in order encourage private firms to increase salaries for Saudi workers.
Under the new system a Saudi worker should be paid a salary of not less than SR3,000 to consider him/her as a full Saudi worker in the Nitaqat Saudization program.
Saudis receiving SR 1,500 are viewed as “half workers” while those receiving less than that amount are not included at all when calculating their firms’ Saudization percentage.
The ministry introduced the system to make the private sector more attractive to Saudis and cut down unemployment rate in the country.
The new system will benefit those working on a part-time basis, students, those with disabilities who are able to work and released prisoners, said Deputy Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani, adding that the ministerial decision was announced three months ago, which gave establishments a period of five months to take the necessary measures.
The ministry’s Wage Protection Program will be implemented gradually by March 1, 2013. The ministry will enforce the program by requiring companies to file their employees’ wage data. Firms that delay the filing of their wages data for two months will be subject to sanctions that include denying them all of the ministry’s services except for work licenses service. If the delay was for more than 3 months, with the continuation of blocking the ministry services, the late companies’ workers will be allowed to transfer their services to other employers without their approval.
The ministry said the decision will be implemented according to the following schedule: Firms with 3,000 workers or more will be required to file the data by June 1, companies with 2,000 workers or more will be required to do so by Sept. 2, establishments with 1,000 workers or more will be required to file their wages data by Dec. 3. Those with 500 workers or more, 200 workers or more and 100 workers or more will be obliged to file their data by March 4, 2014, July 5, 2014 and Oct. 6, 2014, respectively.


Australian watchdog considers its own Google antitrust case

Updated 21 min 55 sec ago

Australian watchdog considers its own Google antitrust case

  • Competition and Consumer Commission launched Australian court action against Google in July

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia’s competition watchdog will consider its own antitrust case against Google, the commission chairman said Wednesday after the US Justice Department sued the company for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising.
Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims described the US case filed Tuesday as one of the world’s biggest antitrust cases in the past 20 years.
“I’m delighted the D.o.J.’s taking it on and we’ll follow it really closely,” Sims told the National Press Club, referring to the US Department of Justice.
“We’re going to look at it and see whether there’s any value in what we might do,” Sims added.
Separately, Sims is drafting legislation to address the imbalance in bargaining power between Google and the Australian media businesses that want the tech giant to pay for journalism.
The bills, that will be ready to be introduced to Parliament by December, would empower an arbitrator to make binding decisions on how much Google and Facebook must pay media companies for news content.
Sims said his commission “had a lot of talk” with the US Justice Department before he released a report in July last year that recommended more government regulation on the market power of Google and Facebook that would ensure fair deals for other media businesses and more control for individuals on how their data was used.
Sim’s commission launched Australian court action against Google in July alleging the California-based company misled account holders about its use of their personal data.
The commission alleges the Google misled millions of Australians to obtain their consent and expand the scope of personal information that Google collects about users’ Internet activity to target advertising. Google denies the allegations.
In October last year, the commission sued Google in an Australian court alleging the company broke consumer law by misleading Android users about how their location data was collected and used. That case will be heard by the Federal Court next month. Google also denies that allegation.
Sims said Google was lobbying “every politician at Parliament House” ahead of draft legislation being introduced to make it pay for news.
Google has said the proposed laws would result in “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube,” put free services at risk and could lead to users’ data “being handed over to big news businesses.”
Facebook has warned it might block Australian news content rather than pay for it.