Plans to ban expatriates from gaining employment in several hospitality roles have been announced by the ministry of Labour and Social Development in Saudi Arabia. The ministry explained the ban is to open more opportunities for its citizens.
The policy will start from December this year and will cover three-star and above hotels, as well as hotel apartments rated four-stars and above.
Role restrictions will be in place with marketing, front desk, reservations and purchases roles, reserved for Saudi men and women only. Some exceptions to the rule have been included, such as parking valet, bellboy, doorman and driver jobs.
Other positions restricted to Saudi nationals include hotel deputy managers, directors, fitness club supervisor, assistant director of sales, waiters, tourism clerks and secretary roles.
In addition to the restrictions, it is also required that establishments have at least one Saudi national employed in supervisor positions across events, food and beverages, room service and laundry.
The decision bans the recruitment of expatriate workers, the transfer of their services, or assigning work to them for the jobs mentioned – directly or indirectly.
It has been stressed by the ministry that any firm found to have violated these restrictions, will be punished according to the relevant regulation.
The kingdom has already nationalised several sectors as it seeks to address the unemployment rate for Saudi citizens. The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia for 2018 was 13%.
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