320 expats held in Makkah for labour law violations


An official from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour has said that police have arrested 320 expatriates found working for people other than their official sponsor in the Industrial Zone of Makkah.

The director general of the ministry’s Makkah branch, Abdul Munim Al-Shahri, said that his ministry is determined to expose all violators of the strict labor regulations in the Kingdom.

He added that the inspection techniques to uncover the violators of Article 39 of the labor reguulations and residency have been intensified in order to bring a definitive end to common violations such as the practice of working outside the sponsor’s establishment.

Through its inspections, the Labor Ministry also sought to ensure that employers and workers alike are kept up-to-date with information about the nature of the labor regulations so that they could avoid violating them unintentionally.

Any violation of Article 39 involves a fine of between SR15,000 and SR100,000. Additionally, expatriate workers risk deportation, while the relevant sponsor can be put in jail from three to six months.

A withdrawal of the ministry’s permission to the company to recruit foreign workers for one to five years is also a tough penal measure that violators can expect.

Companies that let their workers engage in employment outside of the company will also be fined.

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