According to media sources, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has begun executing the second phase of the revised procedure for the employment transfer of foreign workers.

In the second phase, the ministry will allow foreign workers to switch jobs at any private sector establishments; whereas in the first phase, the ministry only permitted job transfers inside one establishment.

The second stage of upgrading the system is an extension of the development of the ministry’s policies and services in line with the goals of the labor market strategy, increasing its effectiveness and the implementation of labor rights. To facilitate the transfer of an expat employee to a new employer, the ministry has updated the mechanism for worker job transfers through the Qiwa platform.

The updated system allows the new employer to not bear the outstanding government fees of employees who are transferring their services to these facilities, and that those arrears have to be borne by the previous employer. Under the updated system, the new employer only needs to pay the government fee effective from the date of the transfer of service of the worker to his establishment.

The ministry emphasized that the upgrading would help prevent the current employer from accruing debt and would spare the new employer from having to pay back arrears from a previous time when he did not use the worker’s services. The upgrade will also help workers advance in their careers and increase the flexibility of job transfer policies across businesses, the government claims, helping to create a healthy and sustaining labor market environment.

Under the previous mechanism, the establishments, which are seeking the transfer of service of workers, had to bear the outstanding fees for work permits, expatriate levy and fines for the delay in the renewal of iqama. But now the decision to charge these fees from the workers’ prior employers has started to take effect on the ministry’s Qiwa platform. The decision intends to make it possible for new businesses to operate their operations free from unforeseen financial liabilities.