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Saudi Arabia announces norms of amended sponsorship system

Saudi Arabia announces norms of amended sponsorship system

As per the new Labour Law Initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, there are eight conditions under which expatriate workers can transfer their sponsorship from one employer to another. The law, passed in the first week of November, shall come into force from March 2021.

Employees can be avail change of sponsorship with the approval of the employer. One could apply for a change of sponsorship without approval given the following conditions: if a contract is not signed within three months of the employee's entry into the Kingdom; if the salary is delayed for three months continuously; in case of the disappearance of the employer owing to travel, imprisonment, death or other reasons; if the worker's work permit or IQAMA (Residence Permit) validity expires; if the employer is proved to have been associated with crimes like human trafficking; if the employer doesn't appear in court twice over a work-related complaint or in case of employer's involvement in a Benami business, the employee could file a complaint with officials and change sponsorship given that the employee themselves were not associated with the business.

The eligibility conditions to qualify for a change in sponsorship include the expatriate must work with a work visa following the labour laws. They must have completed one year with the existing employer after first entry to the Kingdom and must have a work contract signed by both the employer and the employee. The new employer must submit the job offer through the ministry's Qiwa website, and the existing employer must be notified.

The new workplace must be legally eligible for procuring visas and must follow wage protection programs, chart contracts, and have a mandatory self-assessment program.

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TAGS:KSA Labor LawSponsorship SystemSaudi Labour laws
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