The new regulations by the Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia has defined several changes.
In spite of the statement given by the Saudi Ministry of Labor before that employers or companies are not supposed to hold their employees passports, majority of companies and employers are still not following this rule.
The Labor Ministry has reiterated that it is the right of foreign workers to keep their passports and official documents. “Anybody violating this rule will face serious penalties,” said Taysir Al-Mofraj, the ministry’s spokesman.
Up to now there are still many companies who are holding the passport of their employees. Will the revised law, and the stipulated fine for any violation eventually bring a favorable the change to many workers?
What are the fines?
In the revised Labor Law, it is stated that any company or employer who keeps the passport of employee shall be fined SR 2,000.
In addition company can also be fined SR 5,000 if they don't provide copy of employment contract to their employee.
An employer who forces a worker to do jobs that is not specified in the contract shall also be fined SR 15,000. Those who also charges their employee for expenses that should be paid by employer. Perhaps this applies to some workers whose employer charges to them the renewal of their Iqama.
Likewise, companies should review the law when it comes to jobs that are intended for women. Because they could be fined SR 10,000 for each male employee occupying a position that is meant for women, and that is not all for they could also be penalized by having the shop closed for a day.
Companies could also be fined up to SR 25,000 for employing an expatriate on a job that should be held by Saudi nationals.
There are also stipulated fines for the following for the following conditions : Delayed salaries, forcing employees to work during official weekends and holidays, forcing employees to work in bad weather conditions, like working under extreme heat without proper precautions, forcing employees to work during banned working hours (or prayer time), employing minors, and violating health and safety standards.
The news report says that fines for each violation will be doubled if committed again.
Many workers are hopeful with this recent change but still looking for answer where they should report any violation. The media has not released any information yet.