Saudi Arabia

Expats over the age of 60 will be counted as two

According to Saudi authorities, any expatriates over the age of 60 will be counted as two expat employees under the Nitaqat Saudization program.

However, expatriates registered as investors or academicians (professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers) or working in the medical professions as doctors will not be considered as two staff even though they are above 60 years of age.

But pharmacists and medical technicians will not be exempt from this decision.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has initiated a long-term strategy to employ Saudis to dominate the job market over the period of 25 years which started in 2010.

The unemployment rate has dropped since the implementation of the strategy and in 2015 the number of unemployed Saudis was 647,000.

The plan also included making the private sector an attractive hub for Saudi job seekers, which led to an increase in Saudis in the private sector who exceeded 1.7 million by 2015.

The year 2015 also marked an increase in the number of employed Saudi women, who increased by 21% compared to 2014. Among the domains that women increased their presence in are: construction, training, social services, downstream industry, insurance, real estate, and business, transportation, agriculture and fishing, mining, electricity, water, and gas.

Meanwhile, the ministry has supported special needs people through its program “Tawafouq” and Nitaqat Plus.

The ministry has started to implement a wage protection system based on seven stages to ensure that employees get their salaries on time.

Over 7,000 establishments have been included in the 2015 wage protection system, with more to be included in the next two stages.

To make Saudization effective, no Saudis are included in Nitaqat if their monthly wages are below SR1,500.