Saudi Arabia will once again be hiring Filipino workers with a maximum salary set at SR17,288. As advised by the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, all businesses and agencies that offer mediation services for the hiring of domestic workers are to carefully abide by this salary cap.
The ministry’s spokesman, Saad Al Hammad explained to National News:
“This is to avoid the penalties established in the requirements of the labor law with reference to the recruitment activity and offering of labor services.”– Saad Al Hammad
In 1973, a group of Filipino engineers moved to Saudi Arabia, marking the beginning of the arrival of Filipinos in the country. They have worked in a variety of occupations over the years, including those in the medical sector like doctors and nurses, as well as in the fields of engineering, construction, and desalination. Since Filipinos make up the fourth-biggest group of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom is currently the largest employer of overseas Filipino workers and has the largest Filipino community in the Middle East.
Why Saudi Arabia?
With the kingdom’s thriving economy and a high employment rate, Saudi Arabia is one of the ultimate job destinations for overseas foreign workers. The country also provides countless job opportunities. Saudi Arabia OFW claims that most Filipino migrants come to the kingdom to earn a decent income, enabling them to make ends meet. This is because the wages offered in the Philippines aren’t as lucrative as the ones offered in the Middle East.
Also, one has to bare in mind that Saudi Arabia has a very high-income tax rate. As a matter of fact, the Tax Management Association of the Philippines has reported that foreign workers are paying the highest income tax in the whole ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. Saudi Arabia, is then home to some of the highest-paying jobs, in the sectors of healthcare, IT, engineering, petroleum, and banking as per Saudi Arabia OFW. Therefore, working there gives them a chance to save a large part of their salary, thanks to free housing and a tax-fee income.
In addition to the advantages the country offers, the kingdom abolished the controversial Kafala system in 2020. The decision was announced by the kingdom’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, which revealed that a number of reforms would be introduced to address working conditions for Saudi Arabia’s foreign workers. According to Al Ahram Online, under the new reforms, foreign workers will be allowed to leave, re-enter and obtain exit visas from Saudi Arabia without their employer’s permission.
With this new salary cap, Saudi Arabia hopes to gradually improve the working conditions of Filipinos along with other foreign workers to eliminate any form of injustice that presided within the system. As the country focuses on diversifying its economy in line with Vision 2030, job opportunities will open and there will be demand for more foreign workers from across the world.