Historic Jeddah
The ministry’s regulations stipulate that there should be a licence for accommodating 20 or more workers in housing. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/ GN Photographer

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs said that those who violate the ministry’s regulations with regard to accommodation of 20 or more workers will face up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of 1 million Riyals.

The jail term will be increased to up to 180 days in times of crises, such as epidemics, contagious diseases, natural disasters, terror attacks or wars. The penalty will be multiplied if violations are repeated.

According to a report by the ministry’s Agency for Classification of Contractors, the number of unskilled workers in the local employment market, especially in sectors of service, contracting, operation and maintenance in the major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Al Khobar, Mecca and Medina stood at 1.63 million.

The ministry’s regulations stipulate that there should be a licence for accommodating 20 or more workers in housing. The ministry will constitute permanent committees, comprising representatives of the ministries of interior, municipal and rural affairs, health, human resources and social development, and housing, to monitor and inspect such housing of workers.

The committee has jurisdiction to carry out raids, detect violations and refer them to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, with the suggestion of the appropriate penalty to be taken and if there is any need to shut down the housing or not.

In a related development, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs decided to delegate establishments to carry out inspections of the buildings housing 20 or more workers to check whether these buildings are complying with the terms and conditions set by the ministry in this regard.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned from informed sources that the ministry has started receiving applications from establishments, which are willing to undertake verification, follow-up and monitoring of such buildings through the ministry’s “Baladi” online portal.