For Employers

[Checklist] The Full Guide to Tawteen in Malls and Sales Outlets

[Checklist] The Full Guide to Tawteen in Malls and Sales Outlets

September 21, 2021

6 minutes read
6 minutes read

September 21, 2021

In its ongoing effort to reduce unemployment and provide job opportunities for Saudi nationals under the Vision 2030 program, the Saudi government has issued new decisions regarding Tawteen. The latest decision, published on April 7, 2021, dictates the increase of the rates of Tawteen in shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and supermarkets. This is completely different from previous laws on Tawteen, as it refers to the point of sale itself and not on the organization level. As a business owner, the new changes will bring new challenges, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know about Tawteen.

First, here is a list of all the terminologies you need to know:


Tawteen was created to reduce the unemployment rate of Saudi Nationals in Saudi Arabia. The government restricts certain job titles to Saudis in a certain percentage of employees in the job. For example, the job of cashier requires 100% of the employees to be Saudis, while the job of Branch Manager require less (as of the date of this article’s publication)

The new Tawteen Decisions

Three new decisions were announced 7th of April 2021:

  1. Restricting 100% of jobs in shopping malls to Saudis (except for exempted activities and professions )*
  2. Increasing the percentage of Saudis working in restaurants and cafes
  3. Increasing the percentage of Saudis working in grocery stores and supermarkets.

*Exempted activities and professions will be included in the files linked to this article.

Sales Outlets

The place where goods or merchandise are sold to retail and wholesale customers, including shops, exhibitions, commercial markets, and similar outlets. (Definition from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development)

Now, how is this different from the Saudization policy and “Nitaqat” that we are already familiar with?

Nitaqat program automatically calculates the percentage of Saudis at the organization level and then classifies the company to a colored category. These categories range from red (for the lowest percentage of Saudis) to platinum (for the highest percentage of Saudis).

The recent Tawteen decisions mentioned in this article dictates that the sales outlet itself must employ a certain percentage of Saudis in a particular profession. Thus, this percentage of Saudis is not measured on the entire organizational level, but to the sales outlet and specifically on the employees in the shift. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in penalties being imposed on the company according to the ministerial decision.

Now that you have learned the basics, let us move on to the checklist. 👇

Everything you need to get started with Tawteen:

1) Know the “activity” of your company.

The rules vary depending on the activity of the business, whether it is a restaurant, cafe, food truck, etc. If it is an activity listed in the official documents of the decisions, the percentages apply. You can use the ISIC4 to find out the activity of your business.

What does the term “ISIC4” mean?

It is the national classification for Economic Activities. It is a universal code for each sector and economic activity in all countries.

🔗 Use this link to find out in which sector your company operates

2) Prepare a table with the data of the current employees.

The table of employees should include:

  • Job titles
  • Number of Saudi employees in this job title
  • Number of non-Saudi employees in this job title

This table will help you know your current situation regarding Tawteen and possibly determine your need for new hires.

3) Read the “Procedural Guide” provided by the Ministry on the decisions.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development provides a file on the procedures you must follow as an employer and all the guidelines related to the decision. It includes:

  • Job Titles included in Tawteen
  • Ratios of employees in each title
  • How are ratios calculated?
  • Professions that are exempt from Tawteen (if any)

Now, unfortunately, the file to this date exists only in Arabic. It is very important to read it to get a better understanding as an employer. Here is the file anyway:

🔗 Read the Procedural Manual files (Arabic)

🔗 Browse all files on Ministry of Labor Human Resource and Social Development’s website

After knowing which rules apply to your business 👇

4) Start recruiting.

Identify the job titles you need and the number of vacancies, then use the following methods to advertise the jobs:

  • Post ads on your company’s social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.
  • Contact Social Media influencers who post job ads.
  • Put up posters or banners in your physical store.
  • Hire a freelance recruiter.
  • Work with flexible staffing companies like Sabbar.

Sabbar provides qualified and trained staff ready to work in restaurants, cafes and retail stores. Sabbar also takes care of shift management, from tracking attendance to quality management and even full payroll handling. Read about Chunk’s successful experience with flexible staffing.

5) Accelerate the onboarding of new employees.

Create training and onboarding materials to speed up and simplify the onboarding of new employees. The file can include things like:

  • Company Overview
  • Laws and regulations
  • Business specific know-hows
  • Customer Service Culture & Values

Creating such a file can be time-consuming and requires time and resources. However, it will save you hours of repetitive work in the future. You can hire a freelancer to design the file and take care of the content preparation by gathering the needed information from your team.

6) Use flexible work contracts (hourly or part-time).

Flexible work directly contributes to achieving Tawteen’s required percentages. This is because Tawteen applies to all workers at the site on the same shift.

Sabbar’s partners were able to utilize flexible staffing to hire faster. When needed or requested, employees could simply show their digital employment contract through Sabbar’s mobile application. Read Hamburgini ‘s success story in Employing in bulk

7) Apply to the government’s support programs.

The government offers programs to assist entrepreneurs with employment. Whether it is support in paying employees or support in training employees, it is highly recommended to take advantage of such programs.

🔗Here are the details of the support programs

8) Avoid violating other laws.

It’s easy to get distracted by the new decisions and forget about everything else. Remember that inspection officials are always looking out for:

  • Coronavirus & other safety precautions
  • Labor law violations
  • Hiring Non-Saudis in Saudi-only jobs
  • Hiring Saudis in lower percentages than required

9) Stay up to date with the latest ministerial decisions

It is very important to be aware of everything new. Because if there are several rules regarding percentages in Tawteen, the rule with the highest percentage will always be used and taken into account. That’s why you always have to be on the lookout for anything new.

🔗 Follow the Twitter account of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (the account is updated with decisions as soon as they are published, and it is preferable that you also activate the notifications of the account).

Looking to hire? Let us know how we can help! 🧡

Sabbar helps businesses hire vetted and trained staff in restaurants, cafes, retail and entertainment through flexible staffing.

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