Nov 28 2011
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Runaway workers to be counted in Nitaqat
The move means the percentage of expat workers registered at a company will not be reduced if an employee breaks his contract.
This would affect the Saudization percentage until it is proved that these escaped workers have departed for their respective countries.
The Nitaqat uses a carrot and stick approach to encourage foreign enterprises to employ more Saudis.
The program came into effect this June and classifies companies as excellent, green, yellow and red according to the ratio of foreigners to Saudi workers. Under the system, excellent or green companies which employ a high number of Saudis are granted more privileges in visa requests and operations for non-Saudis. Yellow companies must improve their rate of nationalization or they will be barred from transferring visas of non-Saudi workers to their sponsorship. However, red companies that employ too few Saudis will not be granted new visas, substitute visas or get seasonal work visas, and will be not be allowed to open new branches or utilize Labor Office facilities.
Meanwhile, national contracting companies have called on the Ministry of Labor to amend certain Nitaqat conditions.
They said work in the contracting field is different from other sectors and this explains why Saudi youth are not inclined to work in the field where a worker has to stay in the open for long hours. Saleh Al-Sayyid, Chairman of the Contracting Committee in the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce, said the Nitaqat program in its current form is difficult to implement especially since there are still requirements that have to be fulfilled by the ministry and Labor Office in the Eastern Province.
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