Saudi Arabia is considering significant changes in its labor laws, providing more benefits to the employees.
A report has been published in Saudi Gazette which quoted ‘informed sources’. The report said that Saudi Arabia plans to criminalize brokerage in the employment of Saudis and recruiting of foreigners by imposing a hefty fine ranging between SR200,000 (approximately Dh195,783) and SR500,000 (approximately Dh489,459).
Fourteen-week maternity leave with full pay for working women will also be included instead of the amendments instead of the existing 10-week leave.
The amendments in the Labor Law will be introduced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development shortly, the report added.
The new amendments will bring significant benefits for the employees as to see a qualitative improvement in the market circumstances, particularly in the productive and service sectors.
The Ministry is consulting with specialists and experts on the proposed amendments that consist of 29 legal articles of the Labor Law, besides adding a new article to the law for the first time.
According to the international news agency, new texts, including article 231, have been included in the amended versions of the law. Article 231 stipulates the criminalization of the brokerage in the employment of Saudis by imposing a fine of no less than SR200,000 and no more than SR500,000 on anyone who violates the provisions of article 30 of the Labor Law.
However, any person to practice the activity of employing Saudis or the activity of recruiting foreign workers will not be allowed unless it is licensed.
According to the amendments, the employer shall bear the fees for the recruitment of an ex-pat worker, as well as the fee for his residency permit (iqama), the work permit and their renewal, and any other fees approved by the state. The ticket for the worker’s return to his home country after the end of the contract will also be paid by the employer.
The amendments also mentioned that the employer no longer needs to pay the exit and re-entry visa fee and it shall be met by the employee.