Feb 19 2012
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Private firms face fines for not updating Iqama status
JEDDAH -- Private establishments and companies face fines for their failure to have the Iqamas (work permits) of their workers updated so that they reflect the correct profession of the employee before the end of the three-month grace period on Feb. 22 (the last day of Rabi Al-Awwal).
An official source at the Ministry of Labor was quoted by local media as saying that erring establishments would be fined between SR2,000 to SR5,000 for each worker.
The penalty, the source was cited as saying, also includes non-renewal of work permits of the workers of establishments falling into the red and yellow zones of the Nitaqat Program. The penalty could be doubled and the companies will be banned from further recruitment, the source said.
Establishments providing incorrect information related to the professions of their workers in order to circumvent the rules also face financial fines and other penalties, the source warned.
The ministry's decision, the source said, is aimed at creating an open market based on genuine and transparent information. The corrected data, he said, would enable the market to count all the jobs and professions filled by foreign workers enabling the ministry to open new job opportunities for citizens.
He said the ministry's decision concentrates on establishments in the red and yellow zones leaving the door open for VIP companies in the green and excellent zones to correct the status of their employees.
It is mandatory for engineers to approach their labor office and produce their credentials and accreditation from the required authority.
With regard to medical professions, he said the ministry has made it clear that all health professionals must produce their licenses from the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, along with proof of their qualifications. This applies to doctors, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapy technicians and laboratory technicians. It also includes records clerks, administrators and medical secretaries.
Saudis excluded from the Feb. 22 deadline are those working as personnel managers, labor affairs managers, labor relations managers, human resources specialists, personnel clerks, recruitment clerks and time keepers.
The job market has about 8.4 million foreign workers, representing 31.03 percent of the Kingdom's population, according to the census and 2010 report of the Statistics Department.
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