Saudi Shuts 1,441 Firms For Failing to Protect Workers’ Wages

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Ministry-of-Labor-offce-in-saudi-arabia

Abdul Hannan Tago | Arab News

RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Labor (MoL) has shut down 1,441 firms due to their failure to safeguard workers’ wages, according to a ministry report released in the capital recently.

The report said that 48 percent of the total establishments did not comply with the ministry program concerning the Wages Protection Scheme. The ministry also shut down the computer services of the 89 establishments for their lack of response in terms of the resolution of complaints made by employees under the protection and welfare program for migrant workers.

According to the report, the MoL has settled nearly 675 cases of disputes, while 121,000 cases are currently pending within the preliminary courts for settlement. This marks an increase of 91 percent in the total number of cases in comparison to the previous year.

As for the private sector, the report said that 530,000 cases have been registered, including 6,329 by female workers. There are also more than 228,000 runaway cases inside the country, and 296,000 abroad.

The MoL report was based on its financial report in 2014 and 2015, which found that the ministry witnessed an increase in the number of Saudi employees in the private sector to 347,000, of whom 322,000 had only recently found new employment.

The report said the number of males was higher than the number of females in the new workforce, representing 59 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

With regard to the Nitaqat program, the report revealed the compliance of more than 1.2 million firms with the MoL regulation, qualifying them to advance into the green and platinum categories in terms of the Saudization of jobs across the country.

But the same report noted that 612,000 companies had failed to hire the required number of Saudis in their establishments, which pushed them into the red and yellow categories, which are very negative.

However, the report indicates a rise in the number of Saudi women in the workforce by 11,236, representing a three percent increase from the previous year.

Overall, the report note that these increases have contributed to the increase of business activities in wholesale, retail, social services trades, financial sectors, insurance and real estate, manufacturing industries, in addition to mining and oil extraction sectors. c. Arab News

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