Job security remains expats’ major concern
09 June 2012
Arabnews - JEDDAH: FADIA JIFFRY - The promise of job security among expatriates in the Kingdom has eroded as priority is given to Saudi nationals in the employment market, claim foreign residents in the country.
They say this is threatening their livelihoods and future.
Masud Azizi, a 45-year-old Egyptian father of three, was offered a fancy job with an attractive salary from an investment company in the Kingdom. “I was warned that there was no job security. I was promised a good pay and benefits but you never know when you may lose it to a Saudi national,” says Azizi.
The worry over job security has never been worse. Expatriate workers fear being suddenly laid off, especially after the introduction of the new Nitaqat system.
Talking to several expatriates, Arab News found that high salary is not the main objective one considers when looking for a job. It appears job security is.
“Being an expat, the implications of losing your job are worse than at home and yet we don’t have the protection that many of us enjoy in our home countries. Sometimes neither the salary one is being paid nor the benefits he is receiving is the matter. What matters is if the company guarantees you job security,” said Mohammad Qasim, a Pakistani national working with a construction company in the Kingdom.
Expatriates claim that companies are offering uncertain job security, be it to a professional or graduate. Despite long years of service, some of them have not got a raise in salary for years.
"Despite several requests, I have not been given any increment for the past seven years and due to this I feel like leaving the company. But due to my family commitments I can't. I have put in 35 years with the company and although the cost of living has gone up, my company still requires my services on the same basis," said Farouk Ali, an Indian sales representative. “For how long should I keep my fingers crossed?” asked Ali.
Managing Director of Al-Rasim United Company Aiad Mushaikh said job security should be offered to employees based on their positions. “High caliber companies like us do provide much better job security than most others do. In my opinion, one of the most important things when hiring an employee from overseas is to promise them good job security,” he said.
He added that the usual rules when terminating an employee requires certain instructions to be followed such as paying end-of-service benefits and giving the required notice.