“Owners” of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been ordered to work for their firms full-time and register their names with the General Organization for Social Insurance.
The Labor Ministry’s new step aims at Saudizing jobs and preventing cover-up businesses.
“Saudi owners working in their own firms should not have any other jobs,” said Hattab Al-Anazi, spokesman of the ministry. He said the move was aimed at encouraging SMEs with not more than nine workers to employ Saudis.
Expats dominate the workforce in the SMEs. There are at least 250,000 SMEs with not a single Saudi worker. “Most of these firms are run by foreigners who give their real Saudi owners a specific amount annually,” Al-Anazi explained.
Annual remittances by expats who run SMEs amount to SR 140 billion.
The Labor and Interior Ministries have continued their joint campaign to track down illegal workers. According to a source, most shops in the Mursalat district of Riyadh, a well-known market for mobile phones and cable TV networks, have been closed down. “I have seen workers keeping away from their shops in Bathaa when they heard about raids in the popular expat market,” he added.
Many erring businesses across the Kingdom, according to reports, have resorted to bribing sleuths to inform them about the impending raids. It is the job of these informers to keep businesses on alert if a crackdown team is preparing a raid on them.
Meanwhile, a report from the Foreign Committee of the Shoura Council disclosed that illegals pose a large risk to the country’s security, as they are responsible for a majority of crimes. Additionally, they play a role in environmental pollution.
The report proposed the formation of a committee drawn up from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior to look into the illegals and how to deport them to their original countries through proper channels.
A number of citizens in Dammam have called for strict control on real estate offices to avoid giving rental services to illegals and work permit violators.