Five years on from the introduction of the Nitiqat system, the Ministry of Labour has announced the implementation of 'weighted Nitiqat' which is designed to promote quality employment for Saudi nationals. To date, the focus of Nitiqat has been to increase the number of Saudi nationals employed within the private sector. Now the Ministry feels that it is time to address concerns regarding the level of roles Saudi nationals are being engaged to do. Weighted Nitiqat is due to be introduced on 12 Rabie Al Awal (approximately corresponding to 11 December 2016).

Under the new system there will be five criteria according to which an employer's compliance rating will be decided upon:

  1. The number of Saudi nationals employed in the business;
  2. The average salary paid to Saudi employees in the business (total salaries paid to Saudi nationals divided by the number of Saudi nationals);
  3. The number or percentage of Saudi women employed in the business (number of women divided by the total number of employees);
  4. Retention of Saudi nationals within the business (average time Saudi employees remain with the business calculated by taking the total number of years served by Saudi employees and dividing by the number of Saudi employees); and
  5. The number or percentage of Saudi nationals within the top 25% of highly paid employees.

Award of Points

Under the revised system, points will be awarded as follows:

  • 10 points for every 1% of Saudisation achieved in terms of number of Saudi nationals employed to a maximum of 1000 points assuming 100% of the workforce is composed of Saudi nationals;
  • 6 points for every 1000 SR in the average salary for Saudi nationals subject to a maximum of 150 points;
  • 1 point for every 1% of the workforce represented by Saudi female employees up to a maximum of 100 points subject to there being 100% Saudi females;
  • 4 points for the average retention period of Saudi nationals; subject to a maximum of 40 points achievable by the average retention period being 15 years; and
  • 0.1 points for the percentage of Saudi nationals within the top 25% of highly paid employees subject to a maximum of 10 points achievable only if all the top 25% of highly paid employees are Saudi nationals.

Revised Medium Employer Category

Quotas under Nitiqat are set according to an employer's commercial activities and also its size. As the system is developed, we will see an increasing expectation on medium sized employers and those whose compliance category is set as medium or low green, to improve their rankings.

To this end, the Ministry has also revised its categorisation of medium sized employers to the following:

  • Medium sized category A (50 to 99 employees);
  • Medium sized category B (100 to 199 employees); and
  • Medium sized category C (200 to 499 employees).