Saudi to allow expats to change employer, exit country without consent

New reforms expected to drive greater competition in Saudi Arabia's labour market

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Employees of ISGN work at their stations inside the company headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore June 11,

Image used for illustrative purpose. Employees of ISGN work at their stations inside the company headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore June 11,

REUTERS/Stringer

Saudi Arabia will allow employees to change their employer and request Exit/Re-Entry Visas without the employer’s consent as part of its 'Labour Relation Initiative'.

The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development in Saudi Arabia announced these new reforms during a press conference held in Riyadh.

The new reforms that will come into effect in March 2021, will allow expatriate workers additional rights in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Programme.

Moreover, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development said all these new initiatives will now be approved automatically without requiring the employer's consent. The three services will be made available to the public through the smartphone application 'Absher' and the Ministry's electronic web portal.

The reforms will drive greater competition in Saudi Arabia's labour market as it will permit employees to change their employers and also allow employers to attract the best talent, ultimately increasing competition, wages, and public spending inside the Kingdom.

The initiative would lead to a reduction in the disputes between local employers and expatriate workers relating to employee mobility or exit visa requests.

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© Khaleej Times 2020

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