(MENAFN - Arab News) The social safety net provided by the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) is helping to attract Saudis to the private sector, says Abdullah Al-Abduljabbar, the organization's spokesman. In an interview with Nadim Al-Hamid of Arab News, he outlines the organization's plans for the future.
Has the social insurance system helped to localize jobs in the private sector? Do you expect more Saudi subscribers in the coming period?
GOSI is playing a major role in localizing jobs in the private sector. The private sector employee enjoys the same retirement benefits as civil servants or military personnel covered by the social insurance system. In fact, these employees are in a better position because they also receive occupational hazard benefits if they sustain workplace injuries. Private sector employees therefore feel secure about the future of their families.
The Saudi social insurance system seeks to provide a social safety net for Saudi workers. By providing annuitants and their dependents with a constant source of income, workers are encouraged to become more productive and creative. This is what motivates individuals to work in the private sector.
The state encourages individuals to work in the private sector, in line with its plans for the localization of all types of jobs.
By providing workers with various annuities such as disability benefits, death benefits, medical care, and cash benefits (in the case of work injuries), the system achieves the objectives of the state to provide better social security.
For the coming period, I believe that the programs and initiatives adopted by the Ministry of Labor for job localization will help increase the number of Saudi subscribers to GOSI.
How many organizations are registered with GOSI? How many Saudi and non-Saudi subscribers are in the system?
There are more than 7,246,405 individual subscribers. There are 1,285,352 Saudis, of whom 247,651 are females. There are 5,961,053 non-Saudis, of which 103,313 females. A total of 340,000 organizations are registered with GOSI.
Some organizations try to avoid registering their employees with GOSI, or register their workers but declare lower wages. How do GOSI inspectors follow up on these matters? Do you have an adequate number of inspectors to cover all organizations?
GOSI seeks to apply the regulations in an optimal way. There are special staff members who follow up on evasive employers. This includes those who fail to pay the subscriptions on time, who fail to include all their workers, and those who register workers but fail to declare their true wages.
Employers are fined if they violate regulations and the business will be denied a GOSI certificate.
If workers are found to be not registered with GOSI, they will be registered retrospectively and the employer will have to pay fines for late registration.
Staff members in every GOSI office conduct field visits, check on employers and educate them about the regulations.
However, we know that regardless of the number of inspectors we have, we will not be able to cover each and every organization across the Kingdom. There are simply too many of them.
However, the requirement mandating that every organization obtains a GOSI certificate has helped us a lot.
In addition, GOSI has conducted media campaigns in the last few years outlining the many advantages and benefits of joining the organization.
We also distributed pamphlets and booklets and conducted free education courses.
We believe that these efforts help raise citizen awareness so that they can help identify employers who are avoiding the system and to help push them into subscribing to GOSI.
How can organizations register with GOSI? Have you encountered any difficulties in registering small organizations?
GOSI registration is easy. Through GOSI's website (http://www.gosi.gov.sa/portal/web/guest/home), employers can fulfill all the steps electronically. They can register workers, delete them, change their wages, pay worker contributions, and check the organization's accounts and status with GOSI. There are many beneficial services provided by GOSI.
The electronic system is very smooth and efficient. GOSI's website is very much like a virtual office and can be conducted anywhere and at anytime, without the need to physically visit the office.
For example, an employer can check the detailed accounts of his organization or the monthly activity, such as adding a worker or terminating the services of another. An employer can also download all necessary forms, report an injury, follow up on an injury case, or change a worker's annual wage.
The registration process is 100 percent automated, there are no difficulties at all.