Some firms offer to pay dependent fee of expats

Saudi youth being trained to grab opportunities in the job market. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

DAMMAM – While several Saudi companies have shown their readiness to fully bear the recently imposed expatriates' dependent fee on behalf of their foreign workers, some have shown their willingness to partially share the burden.

The move comes after the Passports Department started levying SR100 monthly dependent fee on every member of an expatriate worker’s family from July 1. The amount will go up every year to reach SR400 every month on July 1, 2020.

Some companies have informed their foreign employees that they would pay part of the monthly tax and deduct the remaining from the workers' salary.

Lawyers and HR experts said the Saudi companies’ gesture comes as part of their efforts to establish stronger relationship with their workers.

Lawyer Khaled Al-Saadoun, a legal consultant specialized in labor affairs, said the payment of dependent tax by companies would depend solely on the work contract.

“The employer should pay the recruitment fee as per the contract and the Saudi Labor Law,” he told Al-Hayat Arabic daily. They should also pay the iqama fee, work permit fee, transfer of service fee, exit re-entry visa fee and fines for delay in renewing iqama and work permit.

“In light of the above, companies have to bear the new dependent tax if it had allowed the employee to bring his family and mentioned it in the contract,” Al-Saadoun said.

If the company allows the worker to keep his family in the Kingdom at his insistence, it would pay all the monthly fees related to the worker and his family members.

“It will depend on the relations between the employer and the employee and the agreement between them outside the contract in matters like the dependent tax as a special privilege,” he said.

Al-Saadoun said companies can also cut part of the tax from the worker’s salary on the basis of an agreement with the employee. According to the Labor Law, any terms and conditions in the work contract in violation of the law would be considered null and void, he pointed out.

“The determining factor in the issue of dependent tax is the work contract and the conditions mentioned regarding the workers' dependents. If there is any commitment in this regard, the company or employer shall fulfill it. If it was not mentioned in the contract, then the matter would depend on mutual agreement and the employer is not bound to pay it,” he explained.