Saudi expats can now switch jobs without employers' permission

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on March 14, 2021 | Last updated on March 14, 2021 at 10.50 am
Photo: AFP

Now, expats can leave the Kingdom without their employer’s permission

Saudi Arabia’s landmark labour reforms came into effect from Sunday (March 14), which will benefit over 10 million expatriates living in the Kingdom.

The new rules stipulate that expatriates can easily switch their jobs and also leave the Kingdom without their employers' permission.

The overhaul of kafala sponsorship system allows foreign workers to apply directly for government services with their employment contracts documented digitally.

The move, which has been widely hailed by the expatriates, will make Saudi Arabia’s job market more attractive for foreign workers.

Imroz Abdulrahman, an Indian expatriate living in the Kingdom, told Arab News that this is one of the best things to have happened since he came to work in the largest and most populous member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) five years ago.

“I remember four years ago, when I wanted to leave my former employer and go to work for another family, the process was very complicated and difficult for everyone involved. The problems took months to resolve,” he told the daily.

Abdulghani Al-Ansari, chairman of information technology (IT) firm Bayt Al-Edarah, hoped that the government would give another six months to adapt to new changes in labour laws.

Gloria Calinao, a domestic worker, too, exuded happiness about the new rule, as it promised more job mobility.

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