Finally - A five day work week in Saudi Arabia

Published December 19th, 2013 - 06:26 GMT
Working hours in Saudi Arabia have been reduced from 45 hours/week to 40 hours/week. (Image credit: Shutterstock)
Working hours in Saudi Arabia have been reduced from 45 hours/week to 40 hours/week. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Fakieh said that 40-hour work and a two-day off in a week for private sector employees will come into force within three months.

This was among some 50 amendments proposed to the Labor Law, he told businessmen and media persons at the headquarters of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

The Shoura Council on Monday adopted a number of these amendments, including reduction of total weekly working hours from 45 to 40 according to an article in the Saudi Gazette. There are also amendments to make the working contract unlimited if it is renewed three times and if the total employment period had touched four years.

The proposals will become law once the Council of Ministers approves them.

“The financial support extended by the government so as to enable the private sector to give attractive salaries to Saudi employees would cover 58 sectors, in addition to the private school sector.

“An additional government support scheme will be implemented within two months to cover all other sectors,” he said, adding that a total of 44,000 private school teachers will benefit from the support.

Fakieh announced that domestic helpers will be hired from nine new countries. As part of this, an agreement with India will be signed within a week. Other markets include Nepal and Vietnam.

“This move would result in reducing the recruitment expense. The ministry is also checking the cost of hiring domestic workers in other Gulf states and similar countries so as to ensure whether any changes are to be made in the Kingdom,” he said.

The minister noted that there has been a 25 percent fall in the issuance of employment visas during the last two years compared to the previous years.


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