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New policy threatens foreign workers in Saudi Arabia

| | filed under News

Thousands of overseas labourers in Saudi Arabia may lose jobs after the Kingdom’s officials announced a new policy with a six-year work permit cap for expats.

The decision not to renew the work permits of foreign workers who have spent six years in the country is believed to be an effort to create jobs for Saudi nationals.

“The current situation calls for strong cooperation between the government and the private sector in solving the problem of unemployment with hundreds of thousands looking for work,” Adel Fakieh, minister of labour, told the Al Hayat newspaper.

It is feared the labour scheme, which states all firms in the country must employ a minimum of 10% Saudi Arabian nationals, will significantly affect labouring industries. More than 80% of all those employed in the Kingdom are non-nationals.

The move is being interpreted as an attempt to reduce the Kingdom’s unemployment rate, which according to statistics currently stands at around 10.5%.

It has not yet been revealed when the decision would be implemented, or which sectors of the job market will be affected.

In a statement, John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle East regional coordinator is reported as saying the scheme “is the right decision or action a government could do if it faces high rate of unemployment among its own citizens”.

  • Abdullah Suddiem

    does this apply to ALL nationals and jobs, or just labour workers…?

  • Lity

    Somebody has to verify the effect on the production and quality of workmanship, when losing the staff who got trained for 6 years and gained good experience, and the effect on the companies who has to spent lot of money for training the new staff when they recruit new staff.

  • Editorial Staff

    We are currently looking into this and awaiting a response from officials in KSA. To date it has been reported as “expatriate” workers, which will limit all non-nationals in the country to a six year residency.

  • http://www.indiagranite.com R K Knadoi

    This decision of the Saudi Government is appreciable but first they msut make their folks responsible and matured. Most of the local people behave like chilld.
    They understand no duty and accountability. Foreign workers work like donkeys in Guld just to please their bosses and of course to ensure that they remain employed for a better livlihood back home. For 10% employment to local people you still need 100% foreign nationals because these 10% will be good for nothing unless KSA also changes rules for them to force them to perform.
    Their salary must be linked to performance and not on the color of their passport.
    I know how difficult is to work in KSA but for bloody empty stomach one has to accept all sorts of
    humuliation and other difficulties quietly.

  • aboosufyan

    i like Saudi government take good decision to get help for his people but i have one solution of foreigner if Saudi government can give nationality to all foreigner than they will come Saudi national and no one can loss his job all people will be Saudi because Saudi population is less Saudi government can do this thanks
    aboosufyan

  • Nafeesa Shaikh

    This move of Saudi govt. is appreciable. As someone rightly commented that companies wl face the problem like staff training and performance yeild etc. These issues has to to be kept in mind while drafting such policies. And 4 doing this why 6years cap is needed? I feel the puspose still could b served while expats spend as much period as they wish, however with saudi life most expats workers dont renew their contracts, and as mnetioned the 10% contribution wl still not enhance the quality of work one need 2 give in this competitive age.

  • http://www.zarief.com Syed Noor

    Like to see the Saudi to work on construction sites then ;) !
    and also as a cleaner on universities and hospitals.
    And really love to see on cleaning their own streets :D !!!

    Yeh do CAP the overseas labors !!! We all love to see the things going to happen after that.

    P.S : Think about your economy before taking this decision.

  • Abdullah Suddiem

    this wouldnt happen, as the government are not banning overseas workers totally, just limiting them to a 6 year cycle. so ksa nationals wouldnt need to do the above jobs, as at the end of the 6 year period, more people are shipped in to continue with what the others left behind.

  • aquil

    RESTRICTION ON EXPAT WILL DEFINATELY PUT SAUDI BACK FOR ATLEAST 10 YEARS BEHIND. THE EXPERIENCED WORK FORCE WHO WERE WORKING FOR PAST MANY YEARS WILL LEAVE THE COUNTRY & WE WILL SEE HUGE GAP BETWEEN DEMND & SUPPLY. EXPATS WORKING IN OTHER GCC WILL BE LURED TO WORK AT HIGHER PACKAGE, AS THE CO. CANNOT RETAIN THIER STAFF DUE TO THIS LAW. AS A RESULT, WE WILL SEE EXPATS MOVING AROUND FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER WITHIN GCC UNLESS & UNTILL THERE IS LAW OF RESTRICTING EXPATS, WHO HAVE FINISHED 6 YEARS IN GCC MARKET!!, THIS LAW HAS NEVER BEEN POPULAR, THOUGH BAHRAIN WANTED TO BE IMPLEMENTED LONG BACK.
    ANYWAY I WISH ALL OF YOU WORKING IN SAUDI TO PREPARE / UPDATE YOUR RESUMES & JOIN FOR JOB HUNT AND ALSO YOU CAN ASK YOUR FRIENDS , WHO HAVE SAME EXP OR WHO ARE WORKING SAME INDUSTRY TO MOVE IN AT A HIGHER PACKAGE!!!
    ALL THE BEST. ANYONE NEEDS ME?? I HAVE EXPEREINCE OF 10 YEARS IN HVAC INDUSTRY IN SALES & MARETING FIELD, WITH BRANCH HEAD / SALES MANAGERIAL POSITION IN SAUDI??

  • P.S.Gaensh

    I think without any background training to national unemployed,they can never feel to work andresponsible. Government need to open Employment exchanges for unemployed national youth. Register them as per their Educational,professional back ground and their interest.

    Make tie-ups or issue a govermental decree for different private and public idustries/companies for training and apprentice ship certification for those registered nationals. Send them to those companies according to the type of their specialization for 1 or 2 year. They will be paid with stipend sponsered by Goverment on monthly basis. Then they can replace existing expatriate employes once they are confident. This will help company owners and the un emplyed youth.

    This type of training will create sense of responsibility for every individual or they will quit and out in the first instance if they are not intrested in the doing a job. Then blame will goes with the individual not with company. Othewise companies can not blame anyone as they are getting trained individuals.

    Companies cannot effort to release their experienced employes and bring in an un-experienced and irresponsible people to suffer their business.

    To happen all this, Goverment need to create Employment exchanges and Apprentice programmes not in universities but in Industries and Business organizations.

    Ganesh

  • Scarlett Michell

    Go Saudi Go, It must be a go.

    Don’t let those negative ideas from expat or other nationality hinder the implementation of the best idea ever.

    The truth is the Saudis can really replace the expats.

    The reality is that the expats are scaring the Saudis not to take their (expat) jobs because they (the expat) will be jobless in their homeland. And this has been on-going for years.

    Only selfish expats will go against the idea of the Saudis to employ more Saudis in KSA.

  • Ouzya Farder

    I am a saudi national although i was educated in canada, and this news doesnt mean anything. There’s is no chance we will export ALL expats – after 6 years. Some of our most successfull companies were founded by expats – Aran=mco being the most obvious. And although we now have strong national precense within the companies, im very aware that the workings are coming from both ksa and expat brains.
    The current rule of you need a working visa to stay here is enough to keep the country progressing. The best solution would be to educate nationals to expat level – free of charge.

  • Joey

    Im agree with u Mr.knodai you have said whats in my mind..!

  • sami

    no doubt its a good step from point of view of rising the employment level of Saudi nationals…but i think its not the ONLY solution.if there is unemployment, policy makers should have to derive some durable solution to this problem..if Saudi govt. put all the foreigners away after 6 years who have gained enough experience, the output growth rate will suffer a tragic downfall….the government should be aware of its So CALLED educated nationals who can hardly run only a single business by themselves. there is not even a single one department where foreigners are not doing service..

    In nut shell, its a long term policy but with mandatory modifications instead of hauling them(foreigners) out of the country.

  • Abu Mohamed

    All these issues are to implement Saudi Arabian nationals into work. If government starts different cooperative firms like (hospitals, supermarket, factories …..) and give chance to ONLY Saudi national to works, in this way can get more Saudi Nationals job vacancies.

  • deeyes

    \thi is a good step for some peoples y u know many peoples here they are working the past more than 10 years,,may be they made theire palace in theire own contries,,

    if this step is implemented they will loss theire jobs but it will open for some other new peoples who still staying theire own contries and searching for a good opportunity,

    evry body should requir to get the opportunities,,
    this is i think good law for those peoples,

    congrats………

  • http://www.hishamlover.webs.com hisham

    nice to see the saudis to work hard but the saudies will never do this

  • alghamdi

    most of saudi companies owned by saudi formal only infact it is owned by forgin . saudi owner accept little % while business run by forgin . my idea for those who is owned the business i mean the saudi business men if they are not qulified they should handle this business for saudi qualified person.

    there is too many advantage of this policy of course and there is dis-advantage too .

    the most good advatage for the saudi when they govern there business is better for economies . the return will be spoil in the saudi again but in forgin return will move out.

    - saudi when they handle works the wil get the better for the nation . for forgin he just like to collect money by any way.

    i see the advatage out of this policy is many and it will help country and the nation to get better chance .

    this is still my own idea .

  • adnan

    you should realize that these saudis are enjoying on forigners money.always forigner invest on behave of saudis and every month these harmi saudi take a huge amount this is all because of your bullshit law

  • Pandov Rise

    ive heard this is for the complete of gcc

  • Abu Abdullah

    Dear,

    They are not forcing us to come to there country. We came here to earn extra money and everyone knows what will be the consiquence. So stop coming to KSA go somewhere else instead of blaming other’s.

    Its easy to point a fingers to others but once you point finger to someone you should understand that your own 3 fingers are raised against you.

    its new generation let them learn how to face the difficulties and run the country instead of de moralizing them.

    regards,

  • Aamir Mehmood

    I see it an “opportunity” for contractors who offer their services remotely. Specially, in IT sector. Like us who provide services for Microsoft Dynamics CRM/xRM projects.

  • Majid

    Governments always try to accommodate their subject to ensure the better and purposeful solution to the problem nationals are going thru. People should think rationally in which the emotions of each community be dealt fairly. Living in such a controversial times, one little mistake can lead the nation to such a huge catastrophe that is unimaginable. Six year Cap seems selfish law and seems like abiding investment in the kingdom. KSA can be a better economic state than US if think tanks are capable enough to think brighter ideas for the problem. I’ve heard that the govt has taken steps to create jobs fr millions in economic cities but the problem is conservative attitude towards the investors. My suggestions are: develop new cities, easy foreign investments regardless of the nationalities, this will bring large investments, kind toward the foreigners, more industries more employment opportunities. Long list available but space limited. Be open and be optimistic. Ma’assalam

  • ishaq

    as salam walekum,the popualation of saudi arabia is just 26.2 million acording to 2010 stats. it wil effect many non saudi.hs previously there wa a issue the saudi should only drive cab but many saudi demanded that they feel secure wit non saudi while saudi has not much fear of punishment.althiugh it good for saudis but yet it wil efect many non saudi.even the company will face problem of training,even at superior level they have to change manager as atleast few of them may be non saudi and removing the manager at superoir level will effect company position in the market,problwm will be faced by the company such as placement of woker,the worker may not work with determination,they may demand high wages which will efeect cpmpany,

  • http://umaraligill@yahoo.vcom umar gill

    It is not a good dceion for the foriegn workers because they belong to a poor faimilies that is why they ;could not work in their countries properly and that is why the rate f unemployment is increased.most of the local workers can not work with a heavy experienced and the ratio of the development of saudi arabia is dicreased the day by day .so the government of saudi arabia should change this step and make the policey which is the fever of every legal human activites.

  • Ginger Villain

    It will be very interesting to see how this pans out, I’m guessing that KSA doesn’t want to lose all its doctors, nurses, engineers, bankers and oil workers, and the Saudis won’t do manual labour, or cleaning toilets or serving hamburgers. It will probably turn out to be a thinly disguised tax on companies, who will have to hire nationals to do nothing…

  • shahid

    every person who work from out site in saudia or doing job he is labour