By Innovation-sa on February 8, 2018 in News

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) updated Labor Law regulations to protect employee rights in the Kingdom. The decision, approved by Minister of Labor and Social Development, Ali Al-Ghafees, has been formulated in view of the current changes and developments in the labor market.

According to the revised table, employers violating the Labor Law provision with regards to employee vacation will be subject to a penalty of SR 10,000.

Employers breaching the revised Article 38 of Labor Law by hiring foreign employees to work in a profession other than the one specified in their work permit will be fined SR 10,000.

Failure to open a file of the company or update data regarding the company at the Labor Office will result in a fine of SR 10,000.

Employers do not have the right to keep the employee’s passport, iqama and medical insurance without his consent and doing so will result in a fine of SR 2000.

A fine of SR 10,000 will be imposed on employers if his company do not have organizational regulations or do not conform to them.

Employers must submit the Wage Protection file to the Labor Office every month and failure to do so will result in a penalty of SR 10,000.

Employers who fail to meet health and occupational safety requirements of its staff will be fined SR 15,000.

Any penalty issued by the government must be settled within a month after its issuance, and failure to do so will result in doubling of the fine. Moreover, fine will also be doubled if the violation is repeated.



By Innovation-sa on February 4, 2018 in News

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has implemented the 13th phase of the Wage Protection System (WPS) on establishments whose workers range between 30 and 39 starting from 1st of February 2018.

Under this phase, 14,000 establishments will have to upload wage files of 477,402 workers according to the ministry’s statistics.

MLSD spokesman Khaled Abalkhail clarified that the ministry emphasized its keenness to implement the protection on all private firms to ensure wages are paid on time, define wage scales for all occupations and reduce labor issues between employers and workers. He added the ministry will not lose momentum to enforce the system on every firm as timetables are set forth.

According to the sanctions and penalties mentioned in the labor law, if the establishment fails to pay workers’ wages on time, it will be fined SR 3,000 which can be increased by the number of workers, Abalkhail said as well.

Abalkhail added if the employer fails to upload wage files on the system within two months from the date of enforcement, he would be banned from the ministry’s services, except for issuance or renewal of work permits.

If the establishment is late to upload them for three months, it will be denied access to all the ministry’s services, and the workers can transfer their service to other establishments without their former employer’s approval and despite their valid work permits, the spokesman said further.

Recently, the ministry unveiled the WPS as part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020. It aims to create a safe and suitable work environment in the private sector as it will increase transparency, protect the contractual relationships among involved parties and raise the compliance of small and medium-sized enterprises to the system.

The employers can visit the ministry’s website and review upcoming phases of implementing the WPS. They can also register with the program in advance as the demo registration will not result in imposing any sanctions on them.

The coming obligatory dates to submit the wages files to the MLSD, as below:

Obligatory Dates # Workers
1-May-18 20-29
1-Aug-18 15-19
1-Nov-18 11-14
Will be determined later 1-10



By Innovation-sa on January 30, 2018 in News

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) urged Value Added Tax (VAT) registered establishments with more than SR40 million turnover annually to file their tax returns on a monthly basis, while those with an annual turnover equal to or less than SR40 million should file tax returns every three months.

Enterprises whose supplies of goods and services total SR40 million annually must file tax returns for January before the end of February while those whose supplies of goods and services total SR40 million or less are required to file their first tax return before the end of April.

A fine of 5 to 25 percent of the tax amount will be imposed on businesses and enterprises that fail to file tax returns on time, in addition to suspension of several government services.

The tax return form specified by GAZT has two separate sections; the former is for the tax due on revenues (output tax) whiles the latter is for the tax due on purchases (input tax) and businesses must conform to this form.

Enterprises will automatically be issued tax invoices which specify the invoice number and the tax amount that is due. Once issued, enterprises must pay the tax amount to GAZT’s bank account through SADAD online payment portal or ATM.


By Innovation-sa on January 30, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has reduced the average time required to issue investment licenses from 53 hours to less than 4 hours.

The recent initiatives undertaken by SAGIA to restructure the processes, reduce the number of documents required, and train and qualify cadres has contributed to this notable progress.

The restructured processes include issuing, amending and renewing investment licenses. Previously, eight documents were required to get an investment license which has now reduced to two – financial statements and commercial registers attested by Saudi embassy from the place where the company seeking investment license is located.

The official website of SAGIA provides investors the facility to renew investment licenses themselves.

Several initiatives are undertaken by SAGIA to attract foreign investors to the Kingdom. Since the regulations have been eased, SAGIA granted 17 licenses to foreign investors in the last two weeks.



By Innovation-sa on January 30, 2018 in News

Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Dr.Ali Al-Ghafees announced on Monday the Saudization of 12 new sectors starting from September this year.

Khaled Aba Al-Khail, official spokesperson for the Ministry, said the ministerial decree was issued as the Kingdom strives to provide more employment opportunities for Saudis in the private sector and reduce the rate of unemployment among Saudi men and women which currently stands at 12.8 percent.

The 12 sales activities that will be off-limits for expatriates from the beginning of the next Hijri year include: watches, eye-wear, medical equipment and devices, electrical and electronic devices, automobile spare parts, building materials, carpets, car and motorcycles, home furniture and ready-made office material, ready-made garments, kids wear and men’s accessories, kitchenware and confectioneries.

Aba Al-Khail pointed out that the new decision will not conflict with other memoranda of understanding signed earlier with regional governorates to achieve Saudization. The feminization of shops, which currently is in its third phase, will continue as planned, he added.

Furthermore, to support and coordinate Saudization in the new sectors, a committee will be formed with committee members drawn from Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF), and the Social Development Bank.

The nationalization of these new activities will be implemented in three stages. From September 11, sale of cars and motorcycles, readymade garments, children’s and men’s accessories, home and office furniture, and kitchenware will be saudized. From November 9, the rules will be extended to the sale of electronics and electric appliances, watches and eyewear while sale in the remaining sectors will be Saudized from January 7, 2019.


By Innovation-sa on January 23, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Justice Waleed Al-Samaani issued a statement on Monday granting permission to lawyers from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to practise law in the Kingdom.

The updated executive regulations of the Kingdom’s legal system stipulate that for a foreign law firm to complete its registration in the Kingdom, each of its partner must be licensed to practise law in the Kingdom.

The new decision also specifies that GCC citizens with a Gulf Lawyer’s license obtained from their respective country will be authorized to practise law in the Kingdom, even if he is not a resident of Saudi Arabia.

The ruling comes in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers to re-evaluate the provisions of the executive regulations of the legal system regarding the conditions and restrictions of applicants from GCC states in practicing law.


By Innovation-sa on January 23, 2018 in News

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) stated that the rules and regulations regarding issuance of tourist visas to Saudi Arabia will be published by the end of March and any media reports being circulated regarding the requirements, details and nationality specifications are mere speculations and mostly based on discussions that have not yet been validated.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), SCTH is currently working in collaboration with the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to determine the guidelines and requirements of tourist visas and the details will be published in the official gazette and posted on SCTH’s website by the end of first quarter.

Earlier, when tourism visas were issued for a trail period between 2008 and 2010, more than 32,000 tourists were attracted to the Kingdom. With the growth of its tourism sector, Kingdom aims to create more job opportunities and diversify its revenue beyond oil and thereby contribute to Saudi Arabia’s dream program Vision 2030.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia strengthened its 60-year-old trading relationship with Japan on Sunday by granting three investment licenses to Japanese companies and signing six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Japan in the fields of finance, administration, renewable energy, scientific and technological services, and industrial sector.

The MoUs were signed at the Saudi-Japanese Business Forum, a forum organized by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) to discuss and review investments and trading relations between the two countries under the slogan “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030”.

The forum, which was attended by a trade delegation of 60 Japanese companies and economic experts was jointly inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khaled Al-Falih, SAGIA Governer Ibrahim Al-Omar and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, Industry and Energy Hiroshige Seko.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has entered into a partnership with Japanese Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), Nissan Motor Company and Takaoka Toko for the Kingdom’s first electric vehicle (EV) pilot project. Under the deal, fast-charger stations will also be developed to charge EVs in 30 minutes. The agreement is in line with SECs strategy to reduce dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Saudi Arabia is one among the top ten trading partners to Japan, while Japan is the third biggest trading partner to Saudi Arabia. Around 96 percent of Japanese investments in the Kingdom are in the industrial sector, primarily petrochemicals. Last year, trade volume between the two countries exceeded SR 100 billion and investment of Japanese companies in Saudi Arabia exceeded SR 53 billion.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Saudi Aramco’s Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser announced that the state-owned oil giant’s initial public offering (IPO) is on track for the second half of this year. However, Aramco is awaiting the government’s decision regarding the listing of venue.

The government will decide where the stock will be traded, not the company, Nasser told reporters at the company’s headquarters. “We want to see if there is going to be a listing in another market (in addition to Saudi Tadawul)”, added Nasser.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to sell up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, which is expected to be one of the biggest IPO in history. Proceeds from the IPO will go to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF) and will play a crucial role in achieving the goals of Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco signed a three-party joint development agreement with two US companies for pilot use of a technology to convert crude-to-chemicals in order to enhance its petrochemical business.

The pact was signed with CB&I, a US-based provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, Chevron Lummus Global, a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron, and a leading process technology licensor.

The $40 million agreement will serve to boost and commercialize Saudi Aramco’s Thermal Crude to Chemicals (TC2CTM) technology. Under the deal, 70 to 80 percent of crude intake will be directly converted into chemicals and its commercialization will begin in two years.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) has signed an infrastructure deal worth SR 620 million with Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company on Tuesday for the infrastructure development of Jeddah Tower and Jeddah Economic City around it.

According to the contract, Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company will complete the scheduled infrastructure work within a year. The project, earlier named as Kingdom Tower, is undertaken by JEC with the partnership of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). Once completed, the tower will rise over a kilometre and will be the next tallest skyscraper in the world.

The contract was awarded to Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company in the presence of Saleh Al Henaki, CEO of Alinma Investment Company, Sulthan AlKusayer, fund manager, Mohammed Al Eisa, assistant fund manager, Tarik Al Fouzan, CEO of Al Fouzan Trade and General Contracting Co, Abdul Mohsin Al Johaimy, CEO of AlSabiq Investment and Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic City at KHC’s headquarter in Riyadh.

According to CNN, JEC has confirmed that the Jeddah Tower project is still on schedule and will be completed by 2020.

KHC Chief Executive Eng. Talal Al Maiman, who is also the board member of JEC told that the deal, being one of the largest private infrastructure contracts in the Kingdom, will open doors to investment opportunities for all. He added that implementing an advanced infrastructure is considered “an essential step in positioning this mega development as a world-class project.”