Saudi women hiring in private sector surges by 76 percent

Total number of Saudi women working in this sector rose to 466,000 against 146,765 expatriate women

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There has been a significant increase in the number of Saudi women being employed in the private sector during the current Hijri year, according to the latest report of the Ministry of Labor.

The number of Saudi women who secured jobs in the private sector in the year jumped to 76.08 percent compared to 23.92 percent expatriate women. By this, the total number of Saudi women working in this sector rose to 466,000 against 146,765 expatriate women, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Riyadh region topped in the number of Saudi women employed during the period, with their number reaching 174,827, and Makkah and the Eastern Province coming next in that order with 114,173 and 68,000 women respectively. The number of Saudi women working in the private sector posted a big increase from 99,565 while compared to 132,104 expatriate women during the year 2011, and during that time the percentage of Saudi women hired was only 43.

The ministry’s report attributed 12 major decisions taken by the ministry to this big rise in the percentage of jobs for Saudi women in the private sector. These decisions were aimed at regulating the private sector market through implementing five employment programs, such as direct employment program, program for employing women in the women accessory shops, Saudization program and feminization of some sectors, programs to develop employment mechanism and distant employment program, and part-time and productive family program through working at home.

The report also highlighted the major achievements of the ministry in fields such as electronic services, inspections, initiative to find jobs for Saudis and providing them training. The number of e-services introduced by the ministry shot up from three in 2011 to 20 in 2015. The latest of these services include allowing those firms, which are excellent in terms of implementing Saudization, to issue electronic job visas. According to the report, the number of beneficiaries of the e-services during the first 11 months of the current Hijri year exceeded 12 million, in addition to over 600,000 beneficiaries directly from the labor offices.

A total of 35,105 violators of the labor and residency rules have been arrested in 137,153 raids carried out during the 11-month period. Accordingly, computer services of 11,756 firms with the ministry have been disconnected. A total of 3,509 labor law violations have been discovered and penal actions were taken against 12,020 violators.

Major amendments in Labor Law that will be effective from Oct. 8

No transfer of employee without written consent
No probation for more than once
No iqama renewal in event of Saudization violation
Guarantee for disbursing delayed wage
Period of unauthorized absence raised to 30 days
25% remuneration for those who inform violations
No certificate of service for those harming workers
Percentage of Saudi trainees raised to 12
Five-day paid leave for marriage
Cancellation of labor contract only after clearing dues of workers
No worker stays on at work place for over 12 hours
Half an hour break after every five-hour work

This article first appeared on the Saudi Gazette on Sept. 30.

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