.
.
.
.

In Saudi Arabia, workers may now get fired over workplace harassment

The charter is being finalized by the Lady Khadija Bint Khuwaylid Center, a wing of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Published: Updated:

Harassment at the workplace may lead to an employee’s immediate suspension without monetary benefits, according to the provisions of a Saudi draft charter for the private sector.

The charter is being finalized by the Lady Khadija Bint Khuwaylid Center, a wing of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

The center’s executive director, Basmah Omair, said the charter includes penalties which can lead to the suspension of an employee for physical and verbal harassment.

“We are currently presenting the provisional charter to the private sector in order to get feedback on what we have put together so far,” said Omair.

An act of harassment will result in a five-day salary cut each month for two months. However, if the harasser repeats his act, he will be immediately suspended without monetary compensation or reward. “In the case of sexual harassment, the harasser will be immediately suspended without monetary compensation or reward,” said Omair.

“The charter is flexible enough to permit the ethics committee in each company to take even more stern measures depending on the degree of harassment,” she said.

In 2013, the Cabinet approved a law against various types of abuses, including those at workplaces, and endorsed penal action against offenders. As per the law, all forms of exploitation as well as physical, psychological and sexual abuse or threat of abuse will be treated as an offense.

The abusers will get a minimum jail term of one month and a maximum of one year or fines ranging between SR5,000 and SR50,000 or both. In case of the repetition of the crime, the punishment will be doubled.

There is a specific provision in the law to prevent abuse at workplaces.