Saudi Arabia: Transfers of services (changes of sponsor) in private sector’s companies agreed upon by Ministry of Labour’s labour offices, by occupation category of employee (2013)

Occupation group Transfers of services
Managers and Business Managers 12,852
Specialists in Scientific, Technical and Humanities Fields 229,670
Technicians in Scientific, Technical and Humanities Fields 196,373
Clerical Workers 18,637
Sales Persons 200,515
Service Persons 882,600
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fishing 89,664
Industrial, Chemical and Food Industries 88,139
Engineering Support 1,231,094
TOTAL 2,952,572

Source: Ministry of Labour

1. Definition

The Saudi Labour Law has provisions allowing the worker to change sponsor. However, the procedure was conditionned to obtaining a Non-Objection Certificate from the first sponsor.
Since the onset of the Nitaqat (“ranges”, “zones”) campaign of Saudisation of the work force in September 2011, which classifies private sector companies by “range” based on the
Saudisation performance, changes of sponsor have been made easier for the workers in companies displaying the poorest rates of Saudisation (classified in “red” and “yellow” categories).
Workers in these categories can now freely join sponsors whose companies are in highest saudisation performance’ categories (“Green” and “Premium” or “Excellent”), without NOC from previous sponsor.
Since September 2014, the obligation for a worker to stay a minimum of two years with a sponsor before applying for sponsorship’ change was repealed.

2013′ figure is notably higher than previous ones as a result of the “correction campaign” or amnesty period run by the government from April 3 to November 3, 2013.
Ahead of a crackdown on irregular workers/ sojourners planned for November 4, 2013, the amnesty was meant to allow workers to sort out their administrative situation:
renew expired documents; register their current employer as their sponsor; register changes in profession and in activity sector, etc., or leave without paying a penalty.

2. Institution which provides data

Ministry of Labour

3. Data availability

The figures are published in the Ministry of Labour’s 2013 Statistical Yearbook (in Arabic).

Last date of access: 15 December 2014.