Saudi ministry unveils mechanism for transfer of sponsorship

The transfer of sponsorship from the old sponsor will be made only if the new contractor is in need of workers

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The Saudi Labor Ministry unveiled on Tuesday the mechanism for the transfer of sponsorship of expatriate workers hired for projects, which are stalled, to new contractors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said the new contractor can take advantage of the workers, including supervisors, technicians and laborers, hired by the contractor of the stalled project, and the government will bear the sponsorship transfer fee of these workers.

Under the new mechanism, the new contractor, in coordination with the government agency supervising the stalled project, will prepare the list of workers and submit it to the labor office with the authorization of the government agency.

The ministry will complete the procedures of transfer without seeking the consent of the old contractor.

The transfer of sponsorship from the old sponsor will be made only if the new contractor is in need of workers to implement the project.

But if a new contractor is not in need of workers, they will be deported at the expense of the old contractor. The transfer of sponsorship will be done with the consent of the workers and in line with an agreement signed between the two parties.

If the workers are not willing to transfer sponsorship to the new contractor, procedures will be completed for their final exit and the old sponsor has to bear the expense.

The new contractor must fulfill all the requirements for Saudization with regard to the administrative and financial positions at his firm as well as the terms and conditions under the Nitaqat program.

The contracts of Saudi workers will be transferred to the new contractor only with the consent of the contractor of the stalled project. Salaries and allowances at the new contractor will not be less than those being paid by the old sponsor unless there is an agreement with the new contractor with regard to the terms and conditions.

Similarly, the old contractor shall inform the ministry about the absence of workers from the workplace or their departure from the Kingdom, death or transfer of sponsorship.

“The ministry will follow the procedures of transfer from the old sponsor to the new one, case by case, so as to ensure that all the financial and material dues of the two parties have been settled,” Fakeih said.

The ministry has informed the Council of Saudi Chambers and all other concerned agencies about the new mechanism.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Tuesday, March 17, 2015.

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