Saudi to cut expat staff tenure in yellow-zone firms
Jeddah, August 12, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s Labour Ministry is set to reduce the stay of expat workers in yellow-zone firms under the Nitaqat nationalisation scheme from six to four years from October 25, said a report.
The stay will be reduced further to two years from May next year, said the Arab News report.
Yellow-zone firms refer to the category of private companies - local and international - with less than 10 per cent Saudi Arabian nationals in its workforce.
The new measure is aimed at encouraging private firms to employ more Saudi Arabian nationals to improve their Saudi-to-expat ratio, Taiseer Al-Mufrej, director of the information centre, was quoted as saying.
The labour permits of expatriates working in the yellow-zone firms will not be renewed after four years of stay in the kingdom, with the duration of their stay to be calculated from the issuance of their first work permit, he said.
Meanwhile, the ministry has stopped a number of services and facilities for companies in red and yellow zones.
Yellow-zone firms have been denied new recruitment visas, sponsorship transfer, change of profession for its workers and work permits for its new workers.
The firms, however, can change their status by employing more Saudis with the support of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), said the report.
The HRDF will assist them in hiring qualified Saudi Arabian nationals, while also providing support in paying their wages, it added.