Arab News – The Passport Department in cooperation with the ministries of labor and interior are studying possible penalties, including deportation, for expatriate workers who are absent from work without valid reasons.
The Passport Department also wants expatriates living in the Kingdom for more than six years to record their fingerprints and other biometric details, Sulaiman Al-Yahya, director general of the department, was quoted as saying by a local publication on Thursday.
Al-Yahya said expatriate workers are obliged to fulfill their contractual obligations and can only be absent for health or other valid reasons. However, if their employers harm them they can file complaints with the Labor Ministry, the police or business chambers, he said.
He said expatriate workers also cannot leave their current employers to work for other companies if this is in contravention of labor legislation. This would result in their employers asking the police and other government bodies to take action against them, he said.
He said that the department wants to ensure that the rights of workers and employers are protected, and urged them to register on the Labor Ministry’s Absher system.
If an employer registers a report on the system that an employee is absent, then the worker is informed immediately. This can help resolve disputes, with the worker then immediately being able to challenge the report if it is untrue, he said.
He said that all services would soon be delivered by mail for citizens and residents. To make use of this system, everyone has to register their addresses with the Passport Department, he said.
Al-Yahya said the department is poised to launch a series of new e-services soon to facilitate services for citizens and residents, so that there is no need to visit offices in person.

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