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Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Saudi law affects PH workers

A RECRUITMENT industry leader yesterday warned overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia not to violate their visas or they will face strict punitive action. 

Lito Soriano, recruitment specialist, said he received information that Saudi’s Shoura Council has passed a law banning expatriates from working for companies and individuals other than their employers or sponsors. 

“According to the new law, punitive action would be taken against Saudi sponsors and companies who allow foreigners to work for other employers,” he said. 

Soriano said violators face jail sentences of not more than five years. 

He added the Shoura also passed a draft law that incriminates those who employ visa violators or leave their employees to work on their own or for others or use the workers of other sponsors.  

The Shoura decisions augur well for the Labor Ministry’s efforts to regulate the job market and create more employment opportunities for Saudis. It also supports the government’s move to crack down on cover-up businesses. 

The consultative body approved a draft law with 14 articles to deal with expatriates who violate the Kingdom’s regulations including those who overstay Haj and Umrah visas. 

The new law said security agencies shall arrest those who employ expatriates who violate Saudi law as well as those who allow their employees to work for their personal accounts.

Police can also arrest those who hide, shelter or transport violators or provide them with any form of assistance as well as those who did not inform authorities about the delay in departure of people whom they brought.

The violators who came on Haj, Umrah and visit visas (and working for individuals and companies) would be deported at the expense of those who employ them. 

The amended Article 39 of the Saudi Labor Law says, “An employer is not allowed to leave his employee to work for others, while an employee is not allowed to work for another employer, without following the necessary procedures.” 

The Labor Ministry inspectors shall visit companies and institutions to look for violators of the law and hand them over to the Interior Ministry for action.

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