From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 9:19 AM
Subject: [aijazahmedit] "Iqama-holding 'illegal workers' can sue employers"KSA
JEDDAH: KHADIJAH HABEEB
Tuesday 2 April 2013
Last Update 2 April 2013 8:20 am
Inspection rounds made by government officers to limit labor breaches have pushed people working under sponsors other than their own to submit their resignation from their jobs, resulting in the refusal of some employers to pay them their dues under the pretext they don't have sponsors.
In a telephone call to Arab News, Khaled Abu Rashed, a lawyer, said: "From a legal point of view, any employee can take the employer to court if he refuses to give him any outstanding dues, such as vacation pay, unfair dismissal pay or end-of-term service benefits under the pretext that the employee is not under his sponsorship. In such cases, the employee can file a complaint with the Labor Office."
He added: "We hear many stories of employers who won't give their employees their rights or delay their payments, thinking they are not entitled because they are violators and don't work for their sponsors."
He also pointed out that the common employer practice of giving employees compulsory vacation is also illegal and that it is better to rectify their legal position by allowing for their transfer to another sponsor rather than forcing them into hiding.
Justice Ministry spokesman Hattab Al Enizi said in a phone interview with Arab News that the employer, sponsor and employee should all be prosecuted for illegal practice. He stressed the fact that anyone with a valid residency, even if he doesn't work with his sponsor, can file a complaint with the local employment office.
Legally, Majed Qaroub said: "We can't say expatriate laborers should face severe punishment and deportation. We should not forget the employers who have been exploiting human needs. Their actions are an explicit violation of the laws and regulations of this country and they should pay the cost of deportation of violators.
"Those not working under the sponsorship of their company should be deported according to the law, even if they were born in this country, but nonetheless, local authorities and the Ministry of Labor should make exceptions in individual cases."
Deputy Labor Minister Mefrej Al Haqabani said in a statement that the ministry was and is still carrying out its routine inspections of establishments to make sure they abide by work regulations and its complimentary resolutions. He added that ministry's inspectors carry their official ID cards which they are required to show during inspection visits and calls on all establishments to rectify their work status to avoid punishment.