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Saudi labor ministry to appoint attachés abroad

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development must work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate the attachés

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The Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is planning to appoint labor attachés in countries from where Saudi Arabia hires expat workers.

“The ministry thinks that labor attachés can restrict recruitment brokers and regulate the recruitment business. The ministry hopes to clean the recruitment market off brokers and offer a fully organized recruitment market,” said a source.

He said the Musaned program for domestic workers will provide recruitment request for individuals, salary model, exit and entry form and residence permit issuance form. Doing things through a clear process online will also eliminate brokers.

Economic Affairs expert Fadhl Al-Buainain praised the move by the ministry to appoint attachés in countries from where expatriates are recruited.

“Having attachés in labor exporting countries will help overcome many obstacles such as diplomatic negotiations,” said Al-Buainain.

He said the Ministry of Labor and Social Development must work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to operate the attachés.

An attaché is a person who is “attached” to the diplomatic or administrative staff. An attaché is normally an official, under the authority of an ambassador or other head of a diplomatic mission, who serves either as a diplomat or as a member of the support staff.

The ministry has introduced a number of labor reforms to regulate the market.

An employer who keeps the passports of his employees will be fined SR2,000 and the one who does not provide a copy of the contract to workers will be fined SR5,000, according to the regulations announced last year by the ministry.

A fine of up to SR15,000 will be imposed on an employer who forces his workers to do jobs not specified in the contract or if he asks workers to bear those expenses which the employer is liable to pay.

Fines will also be imposed on companies if they delay the payment of salaries, force employees to work extra hours without overtime payment, or force them to work during official weekends and holidays. Selling visas to expatriates results in a fine of SR50,000. Employing an expatriate without a license results in a fine of SR45,000.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on July 12, 2016.

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