“Any employer who enables his workers to work for others or to be self-employed shall be subject to these penalties: A fine up to SR100,000 ($27,000), deportation if he is an expatriate in the Kingdom, imprisonment for a period up to six months, or a ban from recruitment for a period up to five years. Fines shall be multiplied according to the number of persons involved.” A statement published by the General Directorate of Passports, known as Jawazat, on twitter.
The aforementioned tweet clarified that an employer who allows his expatriate worker to work for others or as self-employed will face penalties including a fine, jail time, deportation, or a ban from recruitment.
Jawazat Addressed the public to report every individual or entity who violate residency and border security regulations by calling 911 in Riyadh and Makkah and 999 in all other regions of the Saudi Kingdom.
Speaking to the Arab News, Dr. Osama Ghanem Al-Obaidy, advisor and professor of law at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh said: “The penalties for employers mentioned by Jawazat are a step in the right direction. It’s time to better regulate the labor market since a large percentage of crimes are committed by unlawful foreign workers. It is also important to punish those who violate the law to benefit financially from such workers without actually being their employers.”
“Going against these regulations creates security, economic, and social problems that affect our national interests.” said Dr. Osama.
The professor also addressed the foreign workers saying that obeying the law will also be in their interests, as working in the absence of a “real and credible employer” would not guarantee the protection of their rights.
He anticipated that the new action will urge many employers and businesses to transfer unneeded workers under their sponsorship, Noting that those workers are creating a problem in the labor market since they do not have enough work, therefore, they are raising the unemployment levels. Moreover, most of them do not have the proper skill sets required by the Saudi labor market, which makes them a burden to the economic and social fabric of the nation.
Al-Obaidy went on to explain the effect of such unlawful labor in undermining the Saudi economic infrastructure, bringing unregulated workers into competition with Saudi and legitimate foreign workers.
He also noted the unregulated labor also causes the high consumption of energy and water and high demand for housing, therefore; deepen the suffering of the Saudi economy.
Consequently, the new move will lead to fairer competition by reducing the increased pressure on the Saudi economic infrastructure created by such workers”.
In coordination with The National Program for Combating Commercial Concealment, the ministry notified that it received many correction requests that mostly related to economic activities, such as wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, contracting, food services, transport and storage businesses, and downstream industries.