Conditions to take advantage of job-seeking subsidy

The regulation details the mechanism for disbursing special allowances for people looking for jobs

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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The Saudi Cabinet recently approved details of a financial aid system for job seekers.

The authorities said the new system aims to regulate the system of financial aid for people looking for work and clearly define the rules for eligibility.

In addition it is designed to support job seekers, motivate them to enter the labor market, and set out the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) and those looking for work.

Today, we shall discuss the important points of the regulation to help job seekers better understand the procedures to benefit from the government support to the fullest and enable them to meet their basic needs.

The regulation details the mechanism for disbursing special allowances for people looking for jobs. People enrolled with the program will receive the aid for 15 months. They will receive SR2,000 ($533) a month for the first four months after a successful claim, SR1,500 a month for the following four months, SR1,000 a month for four months after that, and SR750 a month for the final three months.

The new regulation sets the eligibility criteria to avail the allowance. The applicant should be a Saudi national or a permanent resident in the Kingdom who is able to work and seriously search for a job.

All applications will be scrutinized to ensure facts are not manipulated just to receive government aid and that an applicant is making serious efforts to find work.

Applicants should be between the ages of 20 and 40. He or she must not be employed in the public or the private sectors. A pensioner is also not eligible to receive this allowance.

An individual who is already receiving some form of unemployment allowance is not entitled to this allowance.

The owners of commercial enterprises are not eligible for the aid, nor are students or trainees at any stage of their education or training.

It is also important to note that an applicant should not have previously benefited from the job-search subsidy, or from the financial support program launched to help ease the difficulty of obtaining a job.

Applicants must not previously have benefited from the job-search aid system or any other financial allowances paid to job seekers.

It should also be noted that only those applicants will be considered for this program who finished their education or training and searched for 24 months for a job. After the lapse of two years from the date of graduation or the end of training period, an individual can apply for financial support. The same applies to all those who have some kind of employment experience but are unemployed for 24 months.

The relevant authorities shall notify the final decision on an application within a period not exceeding two months from the date of submission of the application.

Cases in which the subsidy is stopped include: If a beneficiary requests to stop disbursement of the aid; if a beneficiary dies; if the beneficiary no longer has any of the conditions of his entitlement for this specific aid; if the period of benefiting from this aid has expired; if the beneficiary rejects one or more suitable job offers.

The authorities have the right to determine the suitability of a job offer based on an applicant’s educational or professional background.

Applications to the fund can be submitted online or through authorized representatives. Individuals whose applications are rejected have the right to file an appeal with the relevant authorities.

• Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif

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