Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Starting this week, dependents of expatriates will be allowed to work at private and international schools without the need to transfer their Iqamas (residence permits), a source at the Ministry of Labor told Saudi Gazette on Sunday.
This will reduce recruitment from abroad and save time and money spent on issuing visas, the source said.
Earlier, the dependents of expatriates were allowed to work in the private sector only under the condition that they transfer their Iqamas.
Now the dependents have to register with the Labor Ministry’s Ajeer Service, which will be monitored by the Ministry of Education.
Mallik Abu Talib, an owner of a private school, said they had been waiting for this decision since long. But he said he will not make recruitment until he receives an official letter from the Ministry of Labor.
This decision, he said, will solve a major issue, especially in girls schools. “We managed to recruit more teachers in boys schools, but transferring Iqamas of women, who were under the sponsorship of their guardians, had always been problematic,” said Abu Talib.
School teachers will be governed by the labor law. They have to get a clear written contract. They also have the right to medical insurance.
The maximum working hours is eight hours a day adding to a total of 48 hours a week. They are entitled to a 21-day paid annual leave. This increases to 30 days after working for five years in the same company. Women employees have the right to get 10-week maternity leave, four weeks before and six weeks after the delivery.
They also have the right to get one hour each day for breast-feeding in addition to the one-hour break given to all employees. The employer cannot fire a woman during her maternity leave. The employer is required to pay all medical bills for the pregnant woman staff member.
© The Saudi Gazette 2014