Jan 29 2012
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Pvt sector work hours may be cut to attract Saudis
DAMMAM -- A new committee composed of members from different ministries will look into the disadvantages Saudi citizens face while working in the private sector.
Hattab Bin Saleh Al-Enezi, spokesman of the Ministry of Labor, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Saturday that private sector employees can expect more advantages, particularly in terms of the number of working hours, days off per week, and number of annual holidays, in order to encourage Saudis to work for the private sector.
He said this will see a significant decline in the number of Saudis quitting the private sector to work for the public sector every year.
"The Ministry of Labor rejects unfair termination of any Saudi employee in the private sector and will reinstate any Saudi whose contract has been terminated unfairly," Al-Enezi said.
Many Saudi employees in the private sector want two days off in a week, seven working hours per day, and 45 days annual vacation, as opposed to 30 days, and longer Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha holidays like those given to employees in the public sector.
Many believe that if the ministry approves these demands, a large number of Saudis will show interest in working for the private sector.
Among other measures the ministry is planning to attract Saudi youth to the private sector is fixing a SR3,000 minimum wage for Saudis. The program is expected to be implemented by Rabi Al-Thani 1433H (March, 2012).
The program, which is being prepared in cooperation with the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf), aims to retain Saudi employees in the private sector by making their minimum salary equal to that in the public sector.
Ibrahim Aal Al-Mu'aiqil, Director General of Hadaf, was recently quoted as saying that the Fund would compensate Saudis working in the private sector who earn less than SR2,000. Hadaf will pay the difference, he said.
This will prevent Saudi employees from resigning and registering for the Hafiz Program for unemployed citizens, he added.
A source at Hadaf said that the Fund was striving to raise salaries in the private sector, particularly for security guards and drivers. He said arrangements are under way to sign agreements with several companies to encourage Saudi youth to join the private sector.
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