No permission for change of job
Currently, change of employment is possible only with the permission of the sponsor. Under the new law, expatriates will be able to switch to a new job without the employer’s permission after the employment contract expires. If the employment contract is terminated beforehand, there will be an opportunity to change employment after giving prior notice. But this is only possible after working under the current employer for one year. There is no condition for change of employment for expatriates engaged in work without employment contract. The sponsor is also responsible for paying the fees required to change jobs.
Benefit to 70 lakh expatriates
With the implementation of the new labor law, the 70 million expatriates working in the private sector in Saudi Arabia will be greatly benefited. The new changes to the labor law are part of the National Transformation Program. The ministry said in a statement that the reforms in the private sector, known as the Labor Reform Initiative, were in line with international standards. At the same time, these reforms will not apply to domestic workers, house drivers, housekeepers, plantation workers, and shepherds. The ministry said it would enact special legislation for them.
Only on the basis of the employment contract
Sattam bin Amir al-Harbi, a senior official at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, said the new legal reforms would put an end to the sponsorship (kafala) system that has existed in the country for more than 70 years. Currently, the law requires sponsorship of a Saudi citizen to work for any Saudi private sector company. But with the advent of new legal reforms, this will no longer be necessary. Instead, an employment contract between the employer and the worker will come into force. This will force all companies operating in Saudi Arabia to enter into employment contracts and register them digitally.
No permission is required for travel home
As part of the new job reform, the rules relating to exit and re-entry visas and final exit visas for expatriate workers in the private sector will also change. With this, those who want to go home do not need the prior permission of the employer to leave the country. All you have to do is apply. There are also changes to the final exit visa for leaving the country. Employer’s permission is also not required for this after the expiry of the period of employment. But all the financial and other liabilities of this should be borne by the worker himself.
Aim to reduce labor disputes
Sattam bin Amir al-Harbi said the new law aims to warm the relationship between workers and employers in the country and minimize disputes between them. Once everything is stipulated in the contract, the likelihood of disputes decreases. With the possibility of a change of job, the current situation of expatriates being forced to work in places they do not like will also disappear. He added that the new legislation would help increase workers’ efficiency.
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