May 09 2011
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Ministry to give warning to companies failing Saudis
Fakieh said that details of the new program would be revealed next month, but that it could be "summed up" as the assignment of "red, green and yellow lights" for companies in accordance with their levels of compliance.
He said that red lights would be assigned to companies that fail to cooperate and green to firms that display full commitment.
"Companies in the Kingdom will be divided into 40 trading sectors," the minister said. "Each one will be given a set Saudization rate that must be complied with, and if they fail to do so they will not be granted services and facilities or license and visa renewals, or be permitted to transfer their foreign workers to competitors and other procedures. That will make things more difficult for those who have been given red or yellow lights."
Green light companies, by contrast, will be afforded "all necessary facilities".
Fakieh said the ministry was only concerned with employment in the private sector, which he described as "the bigger challenge", and urged companies to register their staff at the General Organization for Social Insurance, the body that will provide the ministry with Saudization figures, to ensure they are all counted.
The minister also said that some 1,000 inspectors would be appointed to monitor companies and tackle "phantom Saudization", foreign workers employed by persons other than their sponsors, and other related issues. He reiterated that Saudi staff accounted for only 10 percent of private sector workers.
"The Human Resources Development Fund spent over one billion riyals last year in agreements it made with private sector firms," he said.
Fakieh said that the new program was the result of 30 workshops held across the country with officials and specialists and that the ministry has "30 new initiatives that will be announced within the next year and a half".
He also said new technology is being introduced at the ministry and that "within six months" companies will be able to conduct affairs through the system without having to go to labor offices.
"Next month will see the announcement of details of recruitment companies, and we are awaiting royal approval for the temporary cooperative insurance law, and we will make an announcement about it soon," he said.
Abdullah Al-Haqbani, the supervisor of the information and technology program at the Ministry of Labor, has said meanwhile that some three and a half million Saudis have registered with the "Hafiz" - "incentive" - unemployment benefit program.
He said, however, that some names appeared more than once "due to mobile phone text messages".
"Some other registrations are lacking in data, and those names will be looked into," he said.
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