New law will punish companies faking employment of locals to skew Saudisation numbers
Keeping with its recently-heightened Saudisation measures, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour has prepared a draft regulation that outlines the penalties and punishments to be levied on companies involved in ‘fake Saudisation’.
Fake employment in this context is defined as a situation where companies, in a bid to increase their local quota in the Nitaqat scheme, enlist a Saudi national as an employee with the social security body without actually employing him/her.
Companies found guilty of this malpractice face five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2.7mn (SAR10mn), besides being deprived of recruitment, government loans and barred from participating in government bids.
As per a report by local daily Saudi Gazette, the ministry has encouraged people to report such fake cases to the authority, following which ministry inspectors will visit the offices to verify the same.
Fake Saudisation has been divided into various types, such as enlisting a special needs national without handing him/her any work, or enlisting one ‘who is actually incapable of performing any duties’, as per the report. Employing women in jobs not relevant for them, and withholding updated information about employees who have left their job are also included as fake Saudisation practices.
Other methods include enlisting a government or military employee Saudi with social security, and transferring a local from one sector to another to increase the Saudisation quota.
Saudisation measures have been enacted in the country since 2011 to encourage higher employment levels within locals, especially in the private sector.