I have a bad news for expats who are living in Saudi Arabia. The news is about the new labor law which Saudi government has recently announced. According to this Law Saudi companies will not be able to hire an expats for specific jobs. Which means companies working in Saudi Arabia will have to hire local Saudi people for these jobs.
This law is actually a step do decrease the expat employees who are doing jobs in Saudi Arabia from different countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India etc. It looks like now Saudi government wants their own local people to start working which is definitely a good decision for them. However, it is a big career risk for many of those who are already working there. This step is also taken to protect the out flow of money to other countries from Saudi Arabia. Another cause of this decision is unstable oil price. As you know that oil prices are at its lowest stage in these days and almost 70% of Saudi Arabia’s economy relies on Oil export so due to low prices they are facing a decline in their GDP. They have also announced to decrease allowances of local Saudi people for up to 15 percent. However, the people working for their intelligence agencies or working outstations will be exempted from it.
Currently Saudi government has announced 19 job titles to which the rule will be applicable. These job titles include HR administrator in any private or government Sector Company, head of Personal department, director of labor affairs, director of personal relations, employment clerk, time-keeper, general receptionist, hotel receptionist, hospital receptionist and typist.
According to Saudi Officials, the employees who are already working on these posts are allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia till their visa gets expired. However, after the visa expiration they will not be allowed to renew their Visa.
This step of Saudi government can be a test of their new expats policies and it is expected that they might announce off-limits for more job titles in near future.