The Saudi Gazette reported on Thursday that the Ministry of Labor and Social Development had forced a cleaning and maintenance company to release overdue paychecks to 450 male and female workers.
A labor inspection team dispatched to the company's premises after worker unrest tracked down a number of violations at the company, in addition to the delay in payment of workers' salaries.
Hamad Al-Jahil, director of the labor office in Unaizah, said the office received several complaints from the workers who had stopped work saying they had not received their salaries for months.
The inspectors asked a representative of the workers and a company official to be present while looking into the case, added Al-Jahil.
They found the workers' reluctance to work was due to the fact that the company had withheld their monthly salaries.
The company was forced to release the overdue salaries to the workers, who returned to work shortly afterward, Al-Jahil said.
Ahmed Al-Wateed, director general of the ministry's branch in Al-Qassim province, warned all private firms against delaying the payment of workers' salaries.
He pointed out that delaying wages is a violation of the Labor Law, which will invite severe government sanctions.
Gulf Business noted that salary delays became common in Saudi Arabia last year after tougher economic conditions and delays to government payments hit some sectors particular hard.
The situation forced Saudi’s King Salman set aside SAR100 million ($26.6 million) of government money to help stranded workers at companies including Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin.
However, some firms are still continuing to delay payments to workers.
In one case, reported in March, dozens of employees at a construction firm in Mecca approached the local executive court to speed up the payment of their delayed salaries.
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