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01 December 2023

Saudi to introduce bank wage system for expats

By Staff

Saudi Arabia will join the UAE in forcing its private sector employers to transfer salaries of their workers to banks to protect their rights and ensure they get their wages on time, newspapers said on Tuesday.

The move is part of the Gulf Kingdom’s most aggressive job nationalization programme dubbed “Nitaqat” aimed at curbing national unemployment and end anarchy in the labour market.

All companies operating in the largest Arab economy will be forced to open bank accounts for their employees when the new law is enforced within the next three months, the papers said.

“The new wage system is intended to protect the rights of expatriate workers and ensure employers will give them their salaries at the end of each months,” Labour Ministry undersecretary Abdullah Al Hakbani said.

“This system will run parallel to the Nitaqat programme and is called ‘wage Nitaqat’…it will be enforced within the coming three months.”

The UAE was among the first Arab countries to introduce the wage protection system which forces employers in its private sector to remit salaries at the end of each month following growing complaints by workers about long delays in getting their salaries.

Nearly 90 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s workers in the private sector are expatriates but officials expect the ratio to sharply decline in the next years as Nitaqat gains momentum.

In comments published on Sunday, Saudi Labour Minister Adel Faqih said the government hopes to create three million jobs for Saudis in the private sector by 2015 and another three million by 2030.