Over the past two years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has had the very untimely situation to handle regarding the expat workers that came to work. Not later than 2014, there were around 5,555 dead bodies all located in separate morgues who were once all expats who came to the Kingdom under sponsorships. Out of these 5,555 dead bodies, only 1,343 were repatriated and claimed by their sponsors and sent back home to their families or buried within the Kingdom. The remaining bodies still lied inside many of the hospitals across the Kingdom. That changed this year when the Forensic Department in Riyadh made certain implementations as soon as possible and repatriated another 2000 dead bodies back to their home countries.
It’s very necessary for people to observe and know that the bodies of these dead would lie within the hospital’s morgues if a strict action would not have been taken by the Forensics department in Riyadh. According to the head of the department, he stated in certain reports and interviews that the bodies were never claimed by their sponsors. They tried to save themselves the money that they would have to utilize in order to send one expat’s body back home. This would include travel expenses, coffin, washing, and filling etc. According to the Saudi Labor Law (SLL) there have been clauses that make it clear that in the case of the demise of the employee, the employer must make all necessary arrangements and either perform the burial within the Kingdom or send the body back to the expat’s country after consent and approval by the expat’s family.
The Forensics Department has also issued news regarding the cost of repatriating a dead body and has said that the cost has risen from SR 3,000 to SR 4,000 within the year and must be paid by all sponsors within a period of time and if they fail to do so, they will be violating the law and hence would be subjected to another violation. Apart from that, there has been another law passed regarding the repatriation that the sponsors who fail to claim and follow up with all the procedures within a period of two months, would not be allowed to call in any more expats for their business. This has caused many sponsors with working and active businesses to quickly follow up with procedures so that they can continue recruitment of workers.
What the Forensics department has also made very clear and evident to note is that they have covered certain costs within the cargo and traveling expenses while they send the body back to their home country. Before the body is sent back home, there have to be certain documents that need to be submitted to the Work Ministry and Labor such as employment agreement, an identity of the deceased and his death certificate. After the ministry or someone from the department has checked the correspondence, then only will the body be sent back home.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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