Over 1.6 million unskilled workers in major sectors


Okaz/Saudi Gazette report

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs said that those who violate the ministry’s regulations with regard to accommodation of 20 or more workers will face penalties up to 30-day jail term and a maximum fine of SR1 million.

The jail term will be increased to up to 180 days in periods of crises such as spreading of epidemics, contagious diseases, natural disasters, terror attacks or wars. The penalty will be multiplied with the multiplication of violations.

According to a report of the Agency for Classification of Contractors at the ministry, the number of unskilled workers in the local employment market, especially in sectors of service, contracting, operation and maintenance in the major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Khobar, Makkah and Madinah stood at 1.63 million workers.

The ministry’s regulations stipulate that there should be a license for accommodating 20 or more workers in their housing. The ministry will constitute permanent committees, comprising representatives of the ministries of interior, municipal and rural affairs, health, human resources and social development, and housing, to monitor and inspect such housing of workers.

The committee has jurisdiction to carry out raids, detect violations and refer them to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, with the suggestion of the appropriate penalty to be taken and if there is any need to shut down the housing or not.

In a related development, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs decided to delegate establishments to carry out inspections of the buildings for housing of 20 or more workers to check whether these buildings are complying with the terms and conditions set by the ministry in this regard.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned from informed sources that the ministry has started receiving applications from establishments, which are willing to undertake verification, follow-up and monitoring of such buildings through the ministry’s “Baladi” online portal.

The ministry has set some conditions that qualify these establishments to submit their application. These include the establishment should have three or more engineers, at least five technicians, and fulfillment of the Nitaqat criteria with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

The establishment, which secures the license, is required to submit a bank guarantee, amounting to SR200,000 if the establishment is large with revenues of SR200 million or more; SR40,000 if the revenues of the establishment range between SR3 million and SR40 million; and SR20,000 for small enterprises whose revenue is less than SR3 million.