Saudi private employers select the best as deadline approaches

Published:  21 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia
With the Saudi Arabian government deadline on sponsorship transfers fast approaching, many private companies are deciding to keep the best of their part-time expat workers and let the rest go.

Human Resources officers in a number of private Saudi companies have told local media that
they are being selective about which expat employees to keep on and which to let go by the deadline date of 3 November. The reason given is the difficulty of transferring sponsorships.

Those workers most valuable to their employers are to be kept on and given full-time status, with the remainder having no option but to leave the country or become illegals. One advertising company has six expat workers who have not yet transferred their sponsorships, only two of whom will be retained.

A number of private sector expat workers in various sectors are expected to be affected by the fast-approaching deadline, as their employers have already suspended them. Most are hoping to be able to transfer their sponsorship over the next week or so, but many companies cannot afford to hire full-time workers.

The sponsorship process is expensive for small companies, and many are now deciding to employ Saudi workers rather than strain their budgets by keeping on part-time expat employees, transferring them to full-time positions and becoming their sponsors. According to the HR manager of a privately-owned industrial firm, the hiring of Saudi nationals will not only be cheaper, it will comply with the kingdom’s Saudization policy as well as avoiding the controversial expat levy.
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