International National

Saudi Arabia Decides to Abholish Kaafala System.

HYDERABAD : Saudi Arabia Decides to Abholish Sponsorship System in a land mark moves. It is going to function effectively from the first half of the next year. More than one million emigrants are going to be benefited from the move , according to a report of Maal Online Business daily.

Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development are likely to make the official announcement regarding this in the coming week. The consequential initiative is planned at improving the Contractual Relationship between the emigrant workers and employers.

The current system, also known as the kafala system, ties workers to their employers, or sponsors, who are responsible for the employees’ visa and legal status. The sponsorship system, which has been in force for around seven decades, will be replaced by a work contract that regulates the relationship between employers and foreign workers.

To improve the quality of life of expatriates, they take other initiatives as a part of their housing and entertainment.The move would be the latest in a series of economic reforms being carried out in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

This abolition of sponsorship system would enhance the expatriate workers the freedom to secure exit and re-entry visas, receive the final passport exit stamp without a sponsor, and gain employment without the approval from a sponsor.

During the work contract what is stipulated in the work with the Abolition of the system, the foreign workers will also have freedom of movement. Since decades the sponsorship movement is in Saudi Arabia.Under the system, a worker is obligated to work for his sponsor, and they cannot work for another employer unless the sponsorship is transferred through formal channels.

The Ministry of Human Resources was expected to announce on Wednesday (Oct. 28) the major features of this initiative to improve the relationship between the expatriate workers and their employers with the abolition of the sponsorship system, but it was postponed for the coming week, as preparations are being made for this, including inviting international media persons to attend a press conference in this regard.

As the announcement of Abolition of Sponsorship System was supposed to be done in the first Quarter of 2020 by the Saudi Arabia , has it got delayed due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. The final abolition of the sponsorship system comes as the next step after the introduction of Special Privilege Residency Permit (Premium Iqama).

On May 14 2019, The Saudi Cabinet took the historic decision in this regard.The Premium Iqama provides an opportunity to all those who have ties with the Kingdom, irrespective of their nationality, to obtain a permanent or temporary residency that would grant them many privileges as well as the chance to avail of several services for themselves and their families.

According to the new law the expatriates are allowed who are the iqama , as they get to enjoy several privileges hitherto extended only to citizens. As it includes owning real estate, renting out of properties, educational and health services, and other utilities specified in the Executive Regulations.

The initiative contributes to improving expatriates’ working conditions by raising their satisfaction, protecting their rights, increasing their productivity in the labor market, as well as the Kingdom’s competitiveness in attracting global talent.The initiative also aims to prevent some negative activities such as the black market for runaway workers and iqama violators in addition to violations that are internationally classified as falling under the clause of human trafficking.

There are many advantages of carrying the Abholish Sponsorship System of local market and supporting the Saudi citizens against the foreigners which mostly leads to attracting foreign manpower with extra competencies and specialties from various countries.

Under the sponsorship system, some employers used to hire foreigners for low wages and poor working conditions at the expense of Saudi youth.
Improving the work environment to attract talents, whether local or foreign, is an opportunity for Saudi citizens to accept work and fair competition in front of foreigners.

By Journalist Natalia Moses

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