Move to Saudize leadership positions in companies

The ministry is carrying out studies in this regard in cooperation with other government agencies: official

  
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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RIYADH The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) is studying the prospect of Saudization of leadership positions.

Ahmed Al-Sharqi, assistant undersecretary for labor policies at the ministry, said that the ministry is carrying out studies in this regard in cooperation with other government agencies.

He also highlighted the importance of maintaining balance in the process of Saudization of leadership positions in companies.

Referring to the ministry’s initiatives to attract foreign investments, Al-Sharqi said that major companies need flexibility in attracting special competencies at the very outset of pumping investments into the Kingdom.

Al-Sharqi said that the ministry is keen to have high flexibility in the Saudization of leadership positions in the companies with ensuring competence of those taking up such positions and this is through acquiring experience and knowledge in a gradual way.

“Hence, the ministry wants to achieve Saudization of these jobs in a periodic basis,” Al-Riyadh newspaper reported quoting him as saying.

Meanwhile, Eng. Riyad Al-Abdulkarim, director general of policies at the ministry, said that the main features of the “Updated Nitaqat Program” include classification of private sector establishments on the basis of their groups of activities and determining the required percentage of Saudization for each one of these activities.

Addressing an online workshop on “Updated Nitaqat Program” organized by Asharqia Chamber, he said the program, which was launched by the Agency for Labor Policies under the ministry two weeks ago, also aims to motivate private establishments to increase the percentage of localization through a scientific, realistic and equitable mechanism.

The program relies on the data of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) and the National Information Center to raise the level of accuracy so as to dispense with inspection campaigns.

Al-Abdulkarim said that the Nitaqat program works on evaluating the performance of establishments and classifying them into categories of Nitaqat according to the percentages of localization achieved by them.

“Moreover, these firms will be compared to similar firms in size and activity, and the best ones will be rewarded with a package of facilities and incentives, and halt services to establishments that come in the unsafe range.

“The ministry is also working on redistribution of expatriate workers by facilitating their transfer of service from establishments that are non-compliant to Nitaqat Saudization program to establishments that are compliant so as to achieve more balancing in the employment market,” he said.

Al-Abdulkarim stressed that the Updated Nitaqat Program has raised the minimum monthly wage to SR4,000, in addition to reducing the number of economic activities and stimulating enterprises to increase Saudization rates, as well as to simplify the program and reduce the level of complications.

Al-Abdulkarim pointed out that the calculation of Saudization after 26 weeks under this program aims to protect Saudi employees from any possible manipulation and misuse of the system by some establishments.

Some firms are trying to employ young Saudis to achieve their target of Saudization percentages and then these Saudis are dispensed with, he said, while noting that an extended period to start calculating the percentage aims to protect the system from manipulation, so that localization is calculated at specific intervals.

The new program aims to enhance market efficiency and provide new attractive jobs for Saudis. It is the latest version of the Nitaqat Saudization program, which was launched in 2011 to drive the localization of jobs and set a minimum limit for the wagers of Saudis in the private sector.

The minimum wages for the calculation of Nitaqat has been raised to SR4,000 from SR3,000 in the beginning of the second quarter of 2021.

 

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