Saudi Arabia’s Labour and Social Development Minister has announced Saudisation requirements for health and safety jobs in the Kingdom. For positions in mega, big and medium enterprises only Saudis will be considered for professional and practitioner positions. The requirements have been included in a Ministerial Decision and are supported by the Human Resources Development Fund. A timetable for the completion of this development has also been announced along with Saudisation guidelines.
A member of the Kuwaiti municipality council has submitted a proposal to add a new article to the buildings charter. If approved, public departments and private entities will have to build nurseries for the children of their staff. The aim is to ensure entities with more than 50 female employees or more than 200 employees, from both genders, have dedicated nurseries. The member added Article 25 of the Labour Law provides for establishing nurseries in these entities but has so far not been implemented.
Oman’s Environment and Climate Affairs Ministry has proposed banning plastic bags early next year. If the proposal is approved by the Commerce and Industry Ministry next year it will be introduced within the same timeframe. It will mean companies, factories, shops and those who use single-use plastic bags will have to replace them with environmentally-friendly ones within one year of the Decision.
Asil Almazid, spokesperson and director of the Public Relations and Media Department in the Authority for Manpower of Kuwait, has announced Circular 26/2019 on giving business owners two months from the date of issuance of work permits to pay the salaries of the workers. Businesses should transfer the wages via bank transfers to local finance companies for their workers who have been recruited from abroad. Almazil has said the Labour Inspection Department is conducting an inspection to make sure that this deadline is being respected.
The Technology and Innovation Committee in the Council of State has discussed a study on the relevance of the Anti-Information Technology Crime Law (Oman Sultani Decree No. 12/2011) to the rapid technical developments and its social and economic impact in Oman. The discussion took place during the first annual session of the seventh term.
Saudi Arabia: Amendments to Collection of Zakat from Commercial Enterprises to be Implemented in 2020
Saudi Arabia’s The General Authority of Zakat and Tax has announced that amendments introduced on collection of Zakat from commercial enterprises will be implemented on 1 January 2020. The aim is to make Zakat collection procedures easier and clarify the items that are subject to the Zakat including in the insurance section. The amendments follow the issue of Saudi Arabia Administrative Decision No. 2216/1440 on 7/7/1440 which targets commercial enterprises of Saudis and of the Gulf Cooperation Council entities operating in the kingdom.
The UAE Central Bank has issued a circular confirming that banks can amend the deduction percentage for loan repayment if the salary has been decreased for reasons other than retirement. Banks can deduct up to 50% of the salary and extend the term of the loan, be it a personal loan or a loan for real estate. The circular has also confirmed that if the said loans exceeded the permissible terms due salary reduction, the bank or finance company cannot give the customer more credit facilities.
A group of experts have called for an independent body to oversee public private partnerships in Qatar to be established. The experts made their call during a seminar on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) which was hosted by the Qatar Chamber, the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation & Arbitration and the College of Law at Qatar University. The body would serve a similar function to competition commissions in other countries.
Oman has signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It aims to tackle offshore tax evasion and avoidance. It provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchanges of information on request, spontaneous exchange, automatic exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection. It also guarantees extensive safeguards for protecting taxpayers’ rights. The Sultanate also signed the Common Reporting Standard Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement.
A Kuwaiti MP has submitted a draft amendment to the country’s law establishing the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority in terms of the provision on disclosing assets and liabilities. If approved, the amendment will mean MPs suspected of corruption will be immediately suspended and prohibited from contesting the next parliamentary election until a court verdict is issued. It will also mean that if a public prosecutor thinks they have collected sufficient evidence of the involvement of an MP in corruption, they will have to immediately inform the Speaker of the National Assembly and the relevant MP as well as refer the case to the appropriate court. The MP will then be suspended with full pay until a court verdict is issued or the current Parliamentary term ends.