Employers of certain Indian workers get insurance exemption


The Ministry of Labor has moved to exempt employers of qualified Indian domestic workers from the insurance payment normally made to recruitment agencies, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Makkah Ibrahim bin Foad Berdesi said Wednesday.

According to Berdesi, employers of Indian workers who hold “ECNR” passports, or passports allocated to workers with above-middle school qualifications, will no longer be required to pay insurance fees upon their recruitment.

In a circular released by the Makkah Chamber to all recruitment offices in the governorate, Berdesi said that the amount of SR2,500 for insurance should only be collected from the employer if he had failed to specify the labor category of the worker. In addition, the amount can also be collected on the request of the Indian Consulate to insure a worker with no educational qualifications.

Berdesi said the circular was issued in response to a letter received by the Council of Saudi Chambers as directed by the Ministry of Labor.

In steps to make the transition to a fully online system of labor recruitment, the ministry said in the circular that visas for domestic workers must now be granted through the online “Sanid” visa issuance system.

The ministry outlined that if the system does not indicate any payments, private recruitment offices are also not permitted to demand fees from Saudi employers.

The Sanid system is currently being used as an awareness program and is in its testing stage. The site provides information about visa regulations and highlights the rights and duties of workers and employers.

The Labor Ministry is seeking to develop the program further and to incorporate all its services for labor recruitment as part of its plan to make them fully electronic in the near future.

The program currently services license offices and recruitment companies; and allows domestic laborers and employers to file complaints and report disputes through the forms and documents provided on the site.


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