Sponsorship transfer rules eased to help private sector


RIYADH: In a major move to help the private sector hire employees in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Labor will now allow companies falling in the red, yellow and low green categories of the Nitaqat system to transfer their workers to firms needing them.

Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani issued new rules here Monday empowering the firms in these categories to do so, and canceled all previous ministerial circulars on the matter. Ahmad Al-Humaidan, undersecretary at the ministry on labor policy, said these transfers can only take place with the consent of the workers’ current employers, and provided their work and residence permits are valid.

He said employers would also not be able to transfer workers if their work permits had not been renewed in the three months after they arrived in the country. Al-Humaidan said the ministry wants to ensure that workers and firms benefit from the new decision.

Previously, there were stringent restrictions on companies in the lower Nitaqat categories, which included a block on sponsorship transfers, not being able to change the profession of workers and hiring new employees.