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Article Details

Transferring to another school-Facts you must know

by Expatguru - 12/26/2013

"This article gives information to potential teachers wanting to switch jobs in Saudi Arabia and the rights conferred on them by Saudi Labor Law."

Teachers working in the kingdom, like other expats, need to have a Saudi sponsor. It is the sponsor who provides the visa and who is responsible for renewing the work permits / resident permits of his employees. However, if a teacher decides to quit one job and take up another within the kingdom, it is not as simple as resigning from one and joining another.

To begin with, the teacher must first decide whether he/she wants to do a local transfer, i.e., move from one institution to another without leaving the kingdom, or whether he/she wants to leave the kingdom and return on a fresh visa. The procedures for either case are completely different.

In case of a local transfer, the current sponsor must first be willing for such a local transfer to happen. This process is officially called as a 'release'. After the recent changes brought about by the Nitaqat program, it is no longer just the sponsor's wish which matters. The institution willing to accept the teacher must be in the so-called green or platinum categories, which means that adequate number of Saudi employees have already been hired by that institution (the number of Saudi citizens employed is not a fixed figure, but varies depending on the number of employees in that institution). When such a local release is effected, the original sponsor stands to lose out on that particular visa permanently, which means he can no longer hire or even apply to the Government for a fresh visa for a teacher. His rights are permanently nullified, which is the reason why most sponsors are not too happy to let go of their employees.

In case the teacher leaves the kingdom after resigning, he/she can return to work on a fresh visa with another sponsor, but in this case, certain more stringent additional conditions are in place. First, the teacher requires a No Objection Certificate from the original sponsor. Again, this depends on the nationality of the teacher so the process is rather complicated. Certain nationalities do not require an NOC while some others do so. By issuing an NOC, the original sponsor can still hire another teacher because in this case he is not letting go of his visa.

But the new sponsor must be able to sponsor the teacher with his own visa, which inturn would be issued only if he is in 'Green' or 'Platinum' category. In both the cases, i.e., either local transfer or arrival on a fresh visa, teachers need to get their qualification certificates attested in their home country as well as approved by the Education Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs if not already done.

In case the existing institution is taken over by another, or it is being dissolved, Article 18 of the Saudi Labor Law explicitly states that the rights of the workers are still protected as far as End of Service Benefits are concerned. In case of mergers, the Labor Law specifically states that the preceeding and succeeding sponsors are equally liable for the workers' benefits unless there is a specific waiver given by the worker relieving the preceeding sponsor for his dues. In other words, in case of mergers, the new sponsor cannot wash his hands off and treat the worker as a fresh case- he has to consider the service of the worker with the predecessor for calculating End of Service Benefits.


(7 Votes)

Views: 8205

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