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The abolition of the "sponsor" system will take effect in Saudi Arabia, starting tomorrow



The Saudi newspaper, Sabq, reported that the sponsor cancellation system will come into effect tomorrow, Sunday, in Saudi Arabia, as part of the initiative to improve the contractual relationship, which aims to support the vision of the Ministry of Human Resources in building an attractive job market, empowering and developing competencies, and developing the work environment. The initiative will provide three main services, which are: Functional mobility, development of exit and return mechanisms, and final exit.

 

According to the statistics of the General Authority for Statistics, the total number of workers in private and public sector establishments in Saudi Arabia amounted to about 8.44 million workers by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. According to the “Short-Term Business” report, the number of foreigners in private and public sector establishments reached about 6.48 million workers.

 

Last November, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched the initiative to improve the contractual relationship, which is one of the initiatives of the National Transformation Program that aims to support the Ministry's vision of building an attractive job market, empowering and developing human competencies, and developing the work environment.

 

The initiative provides three main services: the job mobility service, and the development of exit, return and final exit mechanisms. The initiative's services include all expatriate workers in private sector establishments within specific controls that take into account the rights of the parties to the contractual relationship.

 

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development stated that this initiative comes as part of its endeavor to improve and raise the efficiency of the work environment, and comes as a continuation of its previous efforts in this field, through the launch of several programs, the most important of which are the program for protecting wages of workers in the private sector, the program for electronic contract documentation, and the program Raising awareness of labor culture, the "Wady" program for settling labor disputes, as well as adopting the insurance program for workers 'rights .. in addition to launching the system of elected workers' committees, and other programs concerned with developing and improving the work environment, and protecting the rights of all parties to the contractual relationship.

 

The initiative to "improve the contractual relationship" seeks to increase the flexibility, effectiveness and competitiveness of the labor market, and raise its attractiveness in line with international best practices. This initiative comes to activate the contractual reference in the labor relationship between the employer and the worker based on the work contract documented between them through the Contract Documentation Program. This contributes to reducing the disparity in the contractual procedures of the Saudi worker versus the expatriate worker. This will be reflected in increasing employment opportunities for citizens in the labor market, and attracting talent.

 

The job mobility service allows the expatriate worker to transfer to another job upon the end of his work contract without the need for the employer's approval, and the initiative also defines the mechanisms of transfer during the validity of the contract, provided that the notice period and the specified controls are adhered to. The exit and return service allows a migrant worker to travel outside Saudi Arabia. This is when submitting the application, with an online notification to the employer. While the final exit service enables a migrant worker to leave immediately after the end of the contract, with an electronic notification of the employer without requiring his consent.

 

In addition to the possibility of leaving Saudi Arabia, with the worker bearing all consequences of the termination of the contract. Note that all these services will be provided through the "Absher" platform and the "Qiwa" platform of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

 

The initiative to "improve the contractual relationship" enhances the competitiveness of the Saudi labor market with global labor markets, and raises its classification in international competitiveness indicators. As this initiative promotes labor policies in accordance with internationally agreed labor relations regulating practices, it will also lead to the reduction of labor disputes that sometimes arise due to the disagreement of the parties to the contractual relationship, and it will also contribute to empowering and developing human capital, and attracting competencies to the labor market.


The “Improving the Contractual Relationship” initiative is expected to have positive economic impacts, including: the flexibility and development of the labor market, raising the productivity of the private sector, attracting highly skilled talent, and contributing to achieving the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 program through the “National Transformation” program.

 

It is noteworthy that this initiative was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and the National Information Center, with the support of other government agencies, after holding many meetings with the private sector and the Council of Saudi Chambers, and based on studies and research that included international best practices in this field.

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