The Labor Ministry announced on Tuesday that it would toughen its stance against businesses that violate the rule of employing Saudi women at lingerie shops.
“Employment of women at these shops is mandatory and we’ll not show any leniency toward violators,” said Fahd Al-Takhify, assistant undersecretary at the ministry.
He said violators would face punishment designated for Nitaqat’s red category firms, adding that they would not receive any service from the ministry. “We’ll also impose fines on the violators,” he added. However, he did not disclose the number of firms fined by the ministry during the past weeks.
Al-Takhify emphasized the ministry’s plan to expand job opportunities for women to cut down unemployment among them. “The government decision aims at creating a suitable working atmosphere for Saudi women,” he said.
The ministry had deployed female inspectors for lingerie shops in various parts of the country to make sure they comply with new labor regulations. “Our officials conducted 11,020 inspections in 2012 and found that 5,226 shops were following the rules while 2,608 were violators,” he said.
Last year, the ministry’s dispute settlement commission imposed fines worth SR11.1 million ($3 million) on firms that violated various labor regulations including Saudization rules. The commission found out 1,513 violations of the Labor Law in 2012, said a source at the ministry.
“The ministry’s preliminary commission handled 10,523 cases in 2012 registering an increase of 22 percent compared to 2011,” the source said. The commission’s women branches received 653 cases and issued verdicts in 229 cases.
He said that 81 cases out of a total of 309 women’s cases received in Riyadh province were settled while in Jeddah verdicts have been issued in 97 women’s cases out of 204.
Statistical reports said out of 1,979,103 firms covered by the Nitaqat system, 67,769 were in the red category, while 146,548 were in green in 2012. The report also showed that only 11 out of the 807 biggest companies failed to reach the green zone with regard to Saudization. They failed to employ the required percentage of Saudis. It also found that 101 out of 2,434 large companies were in the red category.
The report also pointed out that 65,265 small and medium enterprises were in the red category, while 125,648 SMEs were in the green zone during the same period. It said 2,392 medium-sized firms remained in the red category against 17,958 green category companies.