Saudi Authorities Considering to Hike Work Permit Fee Again

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The Ministry of Labor and Social Development is considering raising the fees paid by expats for their work permits once again, a move that could benefit Saudi citizens who compete for jobs with foreigners.

Discussing different labor issues, Ahmed Al-Humaidan, deputy minister, said the proposal to grant the two-day weekend to Saudi employees only, in both public and private sectors, would be an embarrassment for the ministry at international forums, especially since the Kingdom is a signatory to international agreements that forbid discrimination of any sort.

He said the ministry is currently working on reaching the decision to close shops at 9 p.m. sharp.

The decision to increase the work permit fees has been on the table for a while; it is an issue determined by the labor market, by the number of foreign laborers and the extent to which such a decision will affect the market. The new fees have yet to be determined.

“We keep options open in our endeavor to address the labor market problems,” the official said, adding: “Our problems are different from those elsewhere in the world. We have both unemployment and recruitment, and thus everything is open to negotiation pending development.”

Al-Humaidan confirmed that the idea of the two-day weekend, which aims to reduce the gap between employees in the public and private sectors, is still in the legislative framework, as the decision makers must consider many studies and ensure that it benefits all stakeholders.
Source: Arab News