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Saudi labour legislation changes to boost Saudisation

JEDDAH, April 7, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Labour Ministry has made 38 amendments to the kingdom’s labour legislation recently including more training for Saudi workers, longer fixed-term contracts and greater inspection powers for ministry officials, according to a report.

The changes will boost Saudisation and provide greater protection for workers and employees, said the Arab News report.

It would come into effect six month after they are published in the official government newspaper, on the ministry’s website and in the media, Adel Fakeih, Labour Minister, was quoted as saying.

The companies with more than 50 Saudi workers now have to train 12 per cent of their total work force, rather than the previous six per cent, he said.

Companies must place their workers on a 180-day trial period. However, if a worker leaves a company and returns after six months, then he or she should go on another trial period of the same duration, said the report.

Fixed-term work contracts have now been extended from three to four years and if a contract is renewed three times in succession, then it would become open-ended, it said.

Under the new amendments, employers will be obliged not to include any comments in workers’ service record that might harm or prevent them from finding work elsewhere.

Companies will need to set up committees to deal with penalties imposed on workers, with the approval of the ministry, so that their rights are protected.

If companies fail to abide by the amendments with regard to ending the contracts of workers, the ministry can close them permanently or ensure that they cannot employ such workers again.

The workers on monthly payrolls will be allowed to give 60 days’ notice, with 30 days for those paid in a different way. They are also allowed to be absent without a valid reason for 30 non-consecutive days or 15 consecutive days.

The changes would also require companies to pay wages to workers through bank accounts. Work hours and emergency leave, including in cases of deaths in the family or giving birth, were also specified under the new amendments.

Workers would have financial aid for work-related injuries extended from 30 to 60 days.

The companies will now face fines of up to SR100,000 ($26,646) and closure for 30 days for failure to comply with certain clauses of the law, or if violations are repeated.




Tags: Saudi | Legislation | labour | Ministry | amendments |

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