Ministry holds forum on key labor issues
Sixteen government organizations discussed various issues during a forum organized by the Ministry of Labor (MoL) here on Tuesday.
“The objective of the forum was not to be more severe in the application of the Saudi labor law, but to ensure accuracy on compliance data,” Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani said.
The forum discussed ways of cooperation in inspection mechanisms and programs in the labor market, besides the competence of each government entity.
“It is expected that this would enable us to reach a joint field work and an efficient inspection system in the labor market,” Al-Haqabani said. He expressed the hope that regular field work by ministry representatives and teams from other government agencies would reduce labor irregularities.
Al-Haqabani admitted the “existence of fake Saudization in local firms and lack of productivity of Saudi employees” and said that something was being done to solve these.
On the lack of productivity among Saudi workers, he said the ministry “is working on on-the-job-training programs for them to improve and enhance their skills.”
On the criticism that employers exploit Article 77 of the Saudi labor law and use it to fire employees, he said aggrieved parties could always go to the labor court to seek redressal of their grievances.
The minister explained that Article 77 provides that the labor contract must be in writing, drawn up in Arabic and in duplicate and a copy each to be retained the two parties.
“Even though it’s not written, a contract shall be considered existent, so that the employee alone may by all means of proof establish his rights, and either party may at any time deem that the contract may be put in writing, he added.