Saudi Arabia is rapidly evolving, with Vision 2030 the driving force behind recent reforms, pushing it towards a diversified economy and increasing nationals in the workforce. The Kingdom’s transition away from an oil-dependent economy has impacted businesses and the way they operate filtering through companies down to the employee level.
Human resource departments have been impacted by the rapid governmental updates, requiring them to adapt to act in accordance with new regulations. In the past few years, there have been updates to many regulations including Saudization, TAQAT, Nitaqat, GOSI, block visas. The government has improved the service quality for companies through e-services which provide faster approvals for companies and data for the government to make better-informed decisions to serve the private sector.
The introduction of e-services in the Kingdom has increased the efficiency of services by decreasing the delays that were once present due to manual processing. Now, many services deliver confirmations in as little as a few minutes, allowing companies to operate with reduced delay. Recently, these e-services were introduced as employee contract registrations, e-approval of sick leave, and the profession amendment e-service.
Companies now have more digital contact with ministries as the need to visit physical offices decreases. E-services and online portals store information meaning companies have access to more reliable, transparent, and accurate information, creating greater trust between the private sector and government.
Companies that are non-compliant due to a lack of knowledge can face penalties without the proper support. However, the simplification and streamlining of processes have resulted in higher levels of compliance due to ease of use.
With the government working to create a better legal framework for companies, being able to respond proactively to updates is advantageous. Human resource departments can ensure they stay compliant through frequent checking of regulatory updates from government ministries, assessing how changes will impact the business, and creating a strategy to implement the change and execution.
The government’s updates improving the business environment for foreign investors in the Kingdom is creating more ease for companies to operate. The introduction of online portals and services has made processes more efficient, timely, and reliable for companies. We can expect to see further improvements from the Saudi government as they continue to reach their Vision 2030 objective of creating an attractive market for foreign and local investors.