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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour has imposed fines totalling SAR10 million ($2.6 million) on companies found to be flouting labour rules over the last nine months, local media reported.
The Labour Ministry unearthed almost 62,762 violations of the labour law during its periodic inspections, deputy labour minister Abdullah Abu Ethnian was quoted as saying in the press.
The Ministry recorded 9,500 cases of employing expats without sponsoring them and almost 3,400 cases of neglecting to prepare a proper working environment for female staff in shops selling women’s accessories.
About 2,200 cases were also registered against firms who flouted the mid-day work ban during the summer months, forcing their employees to work outdoors.
The Ministry has slapped fines ranging from SAR50,000 to SAR100,000 on violators in addition to other punishments, it said in a statement. Other penalties apart from fines include a ban on recruitment from one to five years depending on the severity of the violation.
Ethnian added that the ministry would continue its crackdown on all labour violations across the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has been tightening labour regulations, announcing a number of penalties against those found to be flouting the rules.
The Kingdom recently announced the issuance of a new law that helped protect the rights of domestic workers in the country. As per the law, the government will impose a fine of up to SAR5,000 on employers who do not pay their domestic workers on time.
The new by law also mandates employers to provide at least nine hours of rest daily and a day off every week unless stated otherwise in a mutually agreed written contract.
Saudi Arabia has also issued a number of fines against those staying illegally in the country or working in a different sector from that stated on their visa to encourage employment among locals.
Punishments for such offences range from fines, jail terms, confiscation of assets and deportation, if the offence is committed by an expat.