Saudi labor ministry to provide legal aid in unpaid expat workers' disputes

Published August 29th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT
The new measures appear to be a response to directives issued by Saudi’s King Salman earlier this month, designed to protect foreign workers and guarantee they are paid. (File photo)
The new measures appear to be a response to directives issued by Saudi’s King Salman earlier this month, designed to protect foreign workers and guarantee they are paid. (File photo)

Saudi’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development has said it has put a new system in place designed to address the complaints of expatriate workers quickly.

This follows recent concerns for workers in the construction sector by their home countries after some were not paid for months.

Thousands of workers abandoned in Saudi won’t leave without pay

Saudi Gazette cited labour minister Mufrej Al-Haqbani as saying the ministry would provide legal representatives to present the case of workers in court.

“The ministry will defend the rights of expatriates and labourers and will not allow private establishments to get away shirking their responsibilities,” said Al-Haqbani.

He added that the courts were unbiased and would take action “irrespective of nationality”.

“The ministry also provides lawyers to follow up with cases such as delays in salaries. Expatriates are not obliged to pay any money for the lawyer.”

The minister was also quoted as saying that the kingdom would pay to return expatriates home and facilitate the transfer of workers between private companies.

The new measures appear to be a response to directives issued by Saudi’s King Salman earlier this month, designed to protect foreign workers and guarantee they are paid.

Earlier this week, the Indian government told its workers who had been stranded in the country without pay that they had until September 25 to file their claims and return home.

There were also reports that Saudi Binladin Group, one of two firms that employed the majority of the unpaid workers, would clear its dues by the end of September.

By Robert Anderson

 


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