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Saudi Arabia excludes 5 professions from amendments to sponsorship system

November 6, 2020 at 2:30 am

A Bangladeshi migrant worker stands next a notice by Saudi Arabian Airlines as they suspended issuing tickets to Saudi Arabia, in Dhaka on September 22, 2020 [MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images]

The Saudi authorities have decided to exclude five professions from the amendments to the sponsorship system aimed at improving the contractual relationship between Saudi employers and expatriate workers.

The five professions include: private driver, guard, domestic worker, shepherd and gardener.

The new amendments allow expatriate workers to transfer to another job upon the expiry of their work contract without the need for their employer’s consent.

The initiative also allows the expatriate worker to transfer to another employer or to leave the country during the contract period, after notifying their employer.

The sponsorship system that has been implemented in Saudi Arabia for seven decades links an expatriate worker to a single employer.

The system is heavily criticised by human rights groups who insist that it exposes workers to potential exploitation.

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