JEDDAH: In view of increasing cases of housemaids escaping from their employers, especially during Ramadan, the General Directorate of Passports has warned of stringent action against them.
Maj. Talal Al-Shalhoub, Passports Directorate spokesman, urged citizens to report about any runaway or truant workers through the Absher electronic portal, which he said can be done from one’s phone or computer without needing to visit any office in person.
He said anyone who helps transport workers in violation of the employment or residency regulations or covers up or provides
any assistance to these escapers, will also be punished. Penalties may include up to six months in jail, a fine of SR100,000, or deportation in case of expats.
He urged the employers who find their household workers missing, and who wish to guarantee their rights, to approach concerned authorities and report such issues, especially in the event of financial or rights claims.
Al-Shalhoub warned business owners against employing any such employee, in order to avoid penalties.
If proven to be engaged in illegal employment practices, the firm will be barred from recruiting employees for five years and will be named and shamed. The expats will face jail for up to six months and deportation.