Inspections result in arrest of 223 illegal shop workers

Inspectors question a worker at a retail shop during one of their inspection trips.

Inspectors question a worker at a retail shop during one of their inspection trips.

The Ministry of Labor, in a nation-wide operation, has booked 197 irregularities in retail shops and arrested 223 workers who were working illegally in these outlets.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor for Inspection and Developing Work Environment Abdullah Abu Thunaiyan said that the operations were carried out in several parts of the Kingdom with the cooperation of the security authorities in the respective governorates.

“The labor regulations stipulate that the employers of these illegal workers will be subjected to fines of up to SR100,000 and imprisonment for a maximum period of six months or suspension of their recruitment license for a period of five years,” Abu Thunaiyan said.

The workers, on the other hand, will face deportation after completing their legal obligations to their original sponsors, he added.

Abu Thunaiyan said his ministry is keen on eliminating all illegal workers from retail outlets who don’t possess proper documents. “Most of these workers were working for people other than their sponsors,” he noted.

Following the end of the amnesty given to the foreign workers in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Interior issued a stern warning to employers against employing workers who are not under their sponsorship. Foreign workers were also given ample time during the amnesty period to rectify their employment status.

Abu Thunaiyan said that Saudi Arabia aims to regulate its work and labor systems according to international standards. “Saudi Arabia formally joined the International Association of Labor Inspection (IALI) during the organization’s 14th ordinary meeting held in Athens last week,” he said.

He added that the Saudi membership in the IALI came within the framework of the ministry’s keenness to raise the efficiency of its inspections taking advantage of IALI’s experience. The International Association of Labor Inspection (IALI) is the global professional association for labor inspection. It was established in 1972 and currently has over 100 members worldwide.

IALI has always worked in close partnership with the International Labor Office and other host country organizations, and is increasingly working at regional levels.

Recently, the Ministry of Labor booked 10 general services establishments in Riyadh, Makkah and in the Eastern Province for violating the labor laws of the country.

According to the statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, there are some 11,188 general services offices and 338 licensed recruitment offices in various regions and cities of the Kingdom.

Abu Thunaiyan said that the ministry has called on citizens and residents to be aware of the differences between the recruitment offices and the general services establishment. He said their respective functions were clearly outlined in the ministry’s website for the benefit of the people who patronized these business houses.

The ministry has allocated a telephone number for customer service (920001173), to receive complaints, inquiries and questions about the offices of public services and the recruitment program with regards to household labor.

 
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