What is the change? The Saudi Ministry of Labor is strictly enforcing measures that require foreign workers to adhere to the job specified by their work permit.

What does the change mean? Employers are legally prohibited from employing a foreign worker in a job other than the job title for which the work permit was granted or for a job unrelated to the company’s permitted activities.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies employing foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia.
  • Business impact: Employers should review foreign employees’ job titles and confirm they are consistent with the terms of their work permit and related to their qualifications and the company’s permitted activities.

Background: The job title of foreign employees must be related to their academic degree and not be on the list of restricted jobs. The list of jobs reserved for Saudi nationals include head of personnel department, director of labor affairs, director of personnel relations, employment clerk, receptionist (general, hotels and hospitals), cashier and typist.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be aware of the stricter enforcement by the Ministry of Labor and are reminded that they must take legal steps before a foreign worker engages in a new profession. For an inter-company transfer of sponsorship, the job title must be amended within seven days from issuance of the iqama under the new employer.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Saudi Arabia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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