The Ministry of Labor has called on unemployed Saudi jobseekers to apply for unemployment benefits, or Hafiz, by sending their names and identity card numbers via short message service (SMS), or by registering on the ministry’s website.
Adel Fakieh, Minister of Labor, made the call at a press conference recently.
They can register on one number, 500200, for all three mobile companies in the Kingdom, STC, Mobily and Zain, or register at www.hafiz.gov.sa .
A message will be sent back to the person to indicate the application has been received.
This is the first stage of the program, which entails counting and verifying the names of applicants. The ministry will announce the next part of the program at a later stage.
Fakieh said that all questions on the amount to be paid and criteria governing the selection of the eligible beneficiaries, will be answered later.
When the Supreme Economic Council approves all the recommendations submitted to it by the ministry and after approval by King Abdullah, the ministry will announce all the rules defining the payment mechanism.
He said the Hafiz program will enable the ministry to count the actual number of jobseekers and classify them into categories.
This will make it possible for the ministry to have accurate details which can be used to tackle unemployment in the long term.
He said the approval of the unemployment benefits serves as a temporary solution for jobseekers. Top priority is being given to employment and training.
He said the Hafiz program is part of the Saudization and training process underway in the country.