Saudi’s labour reforms take impact with expats now having larger rights

The reforms of the Kafala sponsorship system in Saudi Arabia went into effect on Sunday March 14, providing greater flexibility in the workplace for workers living abroad in the country.

First announced by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in November, the “Industrial Relations Initiative” enables mobility of workers living abroad and changes existing exit procedures.

Read: Saudi Arabia Reforms Labor Law; grants foreign workers greater rights

Foreign workers in the UK can now transfer their sponsorship from one employer to another after their employment contract expires without the consent of their previous employer.

The move aims to increase competition in the local market by allowing workers to change employers.

UK expat workers can also apply for an exit / re-entry visa online and apply for a permanent exit visa without the prior consent of their employer.

The three services will be made available to the public through the Absher smartphone application and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s electronic web portal.

The initiative aims to alleviate disputes between local employers and workers living abroad related to worker mobility and exit visa applications.

The reforms will complement several similar initiatives to improve the efficiency of the local labor market, including the Wage Protection System (WPS), electronic documentation of all employment contracts and the introduction of the “Widy” mechanism for out-of-court settlement of labor disputes in the UK.

Comments are closed.