More than 800,000 illegal expatriate workers have been deported so far thanks to the extended grace period, an Arabic language daily newspaper quoted Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor for Labor Affairs Ahmad Al-Humaidan as saying on Saturday.
“This will be reflected on Saudi youth and they will get more job opportunities. We, in the Ministry of Labor, are pleased that the Saudi market is now clean of those who were tampering with internal matters. Even though the figures are not precise, they are good numbers that bode well for a bright future for the labor market in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Al-Humaidan described the number of workers whose status has been rectified as “good.”
He confirmed that deporting workers who try to circumvent regulations in the country is in the interest of Saudi citizens as this will provide them jobs.
He further called on those who claim to be serious in rectifying the status of their workers to do so as soon as possible, otherwise they will bear the consequences.
He reiterated that there will be no exemptions for big businesses from the implementation of labor regulations even if they have 250,000 workers or more.
Defending the Nitaqat program, Al-Humaidan said, “This program is flexible. A time will come when it will be amended according to the requirements and information on the ground in the interest of the labor market.”
“Amendment for the better is required until the picture becomes clear and we understand the labor market so we can draw up plans and communicate with the training and education authorities in order to understand the labor market more clearly.”
About the steps taken by the ministry to employ Saudi nationals after deportation of illegal expatriate workers, he said.
“We still have a month and a half until the end of the status rectification campaign. We will be able to lay down clearer plans for employment,” he said.