Saudi launches new plan to ensure workers get wages

It may soon be mandatory for all firms in the kingdom to open bank accounts for their domestic workers

Saudi Arabia has launched a plan to ensure that all domestic workers in the country receive their wages on time.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development announced that it may soon be mandatory for all firms in the kingdom to open bank accounts for their domestic workers, reported local daily Arab News.

The move hopes to ensure that workers receive their wages on time.

The plan will force employers to electronically document labour contracts via the Musaned website, identify monthly wages for each worker and open bank accounts for domestic workers, the report quoted ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Al-Khail as saying.

It aims to protect the rights of all the parties in the contractual relationship between domestic workers and their employers, improve the employment environment, increase job security and enhance the principles of rights in the kingdom, he added.

He also urged employers to report any violations or problems regarding domestic workers through official channels.

There was no timeline given regarding the implementation of the plan or the penalties for violators.

Last year, thousands of migrant workers in Saudi were stuck without a job and pay in the kingdom as the country grappled with the drop in oil prices.

The issue was particularly felt in construction companies such as Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin.

The government later took steps to address the issue and provide funding to the companies to help repay the workers.

Read more: Saudi’s King Salman issues new directives on unpaid salaries for foreign workers

Saudi Arabia, which has a huge population of migrant workers, is currently trying to legalise its entire workforce.

The kingdom launched a three-month amnesty campaign on March 29, which will allow those overstaying in the country without the right visas and documents to leave Saudi without facing fines or penalties for violating the rules.

At least one million migrant workers are expected to leave the kingdom under the campaign, according to officials.

Those leaving under amnesty are also exempt from the ‘exit fingerprint’ requirement, and can return to the kingdom at a later date legally.

Read more: At least 1 million expats expected to leave Saudi under amnesty campaign