Saudi Arabia sets up new labor committees to protect rights
Companies have been instructed to set out an internal law, approved by The Labor Ministry, to be followed by all workers
New labor committees at companies in Saudi Arabia should ensure amicable relations between management and workers and protect labor rights, according to labor experts.
The membership of such committees, called for under new amendments to the Labor Law, will include selected workers and an administrator to represent employees during negotiations with management.
Companies have been instructed to set out an internal law, approved by The Labor Ministry, to be followed by all workers.
Under the new amendments, companies that fail to publish the internal law would be fined SR50,000 ($13,300).
The internal law permits companies to fine employees who violate regulations, with the money collected through fines to be used for worker welfare, as reported by the Arabic daily Okaz.
“The new labor law amendments are beneficial to workers, as it helps them receive their legitimate rights,” consultant and management trainer, Abubacker Baashen, said. “It will contribute to increasing productivity of workers and improving condition of firms.”
Baashen said he believes that the new labor committees will help stop the departure of highly qualified workers from companies, and ensure manpower stability.
The chairman of the Chartered Accountants Committee, Abdullah Bakudah, said the fines received from workers would not be added to the company’s revenues, but used for improving the performance of workers, with labor committees deciding how fines from workers are to be spent.
“The labor committee will work as a link between a company’s employees and management,” he said. The ministry has increased the fine on companies that fail to publish internal laws from SR5,000 ($1,300) to SR50,000 ($13,300).
Lawyer Talal Al-Amri said the labor committees would have a positive impact on workers’ performance in their companies.
“It gives them assurance that their demands would reach the top management of the company and this will boost workers’ morale,” he said. “It will have a positive impact on the Saudi labor market. It will also correct some of the past mistakes.”
This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 28, 2015.