Saudi Shoura panel seeks measures to mitigate effects of pandemic on labor market

The committee urged the authorities to expedite implementation of the Cabinet decision to allow quarterly payment of the fee for residency permit (iqama) and work permit

  
Members of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council and other dignitaries gather to listen to a speech by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 19, 2018.

Members of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council and other dignitaries gather to listen to a speech by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 19, 2018.

REUTERS/Stephen Kalin

RIYADH The Administration and Human Resources Committee at the Shoura Council called on the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) to coordinate with the relevant authorities to enhance their efforts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the employment market, and to make available of suitable jobs for citizens, especially those who are worst affected by the pandemic situation.

In a report, presented to the Shoura, the committee urged the authorities to expedite implementation of the Cabinet decision to allow quarterly payment of the fee for residency permit (iqama) and work permit.

In January this year, the Council of Ministers approved the issuance and renewal of iqama linked to work permit for a minimum of three months.

The fees for the renewal of work and residency permits, including expat levy and dependent fee, can be split up and paid based on the duration of the issued and renewed permits.

This facilitates the payment of expatriate’s levy and government fee (for iqama and work permit) on quarterly basis instead of the existing system of annual payment.

The Shoura panel also underlined the need to carry out studies about the reasons for the failure on the part of some establishments to implement directives related to Saudization in addition to the non-compliance with the Wage Protection Law.

It called for working out solutions to address this issue and review and modify the regulations related to offering services of domestic workers in a way making available of these services at reasonable prices.

In its report, the committee underlined the need for the ministry to activate community partnerships in coordination with establishments working in the food sector so as to provide food assistance to beneficiaries.

This is in addition to enhancing the ministry’s efforts to increase opportunities for empowering women to occupy leadership positions in the private sector.

Taking part in deliberations over the report of the Ministry of Human Resources, Dr. Rima Al-Yahya called for filling up the vacancies of jobs in the Kingdom’s diplomatic missions and cultural attachés abroad in light of the presence of sufficient number of qualified Saudi graduates.

Meanwhile, Eng. Muhammad Al-Ali, another member, demanded strict enforcement of two-day weekend holidays for all the private sector employees in parity with employees in the government sector.

 

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