Saudi women complain of exploitation in cosmetics sales
The feminization of women's shops is a culturally sensitive issue in Saudi Arabia. (AFP/File)
Although the Ministry of Labor is opening its doors to receive complaints from private sector employees, many Saudi females employed in cosmetic and perfume shops in Madinah are not making complaints about being overworked due to fear of losing their jobs and source of income.
Shop owners in Madinah have been overworking a number of female employees, requiring them to clean shops and load shipments and supplies, despite these duties not being included in their employment contracts.
Ministry of Labor Spokesman Tayseer Al-Mofrej said in a recent statement that the feminization of women’s shops has nothing to do with work duties."The employer and employee must commit to the articles stated in the employment contract, and in case any duties outside the agreed upon contract have not been compensated, the employee has the right to make a complaint to the labor office.
” The overburdening of employees in the private sector is not new, as many have suffered from such issues due to ignorance about their rights and unfair work burdens imposed by employers without compensation.
Despite the growing number of cases over the past few years, cases have been accumulating at Offices for the Settlement of Labor Disputes due to the lack of capabilities and mechanisms required for reviewing and implementing decisions.
As the case of feminization of women's shops is a culturally sensitive issue, the Ministry of Labor holds great responsibility in monitoring performance and ensuring the application of provisions of the Saudization programs, especially with regards to women.
A number of female employees said shop managers do not take into account the difference in capabilities between men and women, and often make them engage in difficult physical labor. They called on labor offices to monitor shops and ensure that employers are upholding the terms of labor contracts.
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