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Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said the authentication must be done via its platform Qiwa. Illustrative image. Image Credit: iStock

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s labour authorities have obligated all establishments in the kingdom to electronically authenticate employment contracts to safeguard rights of employers and employees.

The directive has been made by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, saying authentication via its platform Qiwa will also provide a stable working environment that motivates the employee to be more productive and reduce labour disputes.

Authentication via Qiwa, where the ministry’s services are provided, will, moreover, help verify employers’ compliance with labour rules and contract data as well as upgrade information related to employment contracts of foreign and Saudi workers in the private sector.

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The ministry noted that after drafting the employment contract by the establishment, the employee can approve, reject or request it be amended via the worker’s account on Qiwa Individual.

Should both parties approve it, the contract becomes authenticated by the ministry.

In 2020, Saudi Arabia introduced major labour reforms, drastically improving its sponsorship system.

The reforms, which went into effect in the ensuing year, allow job mobility and regulate the exit and re-entry visa issuance for expatriate workers without employers’ approval.

Employee mobility allows expatriate workers to transfer between employers upon the expiry of the binding work contract without the employer’s consent.

The exit and re-entry visa reforms, meanwhile, allow expatriate workers to travel outside Saudi Arabia without the employers’ approval after submitting a request.

Saudi Arabia, a country of around 34.8 million people, is home to a large community of foreign migrants.