Saudi ministry launches flexible work system

The new system will allow flexible contractual regulation to help job seekers work on an hourly basis

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Employees of ISGN work at their stations inside the company headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore June 11,

Image used for illustrative purpose. Employees of ISGN work at their stations inside the company headquarters in the southern Indian city of Bangalore June 11,

REUTERS/Stringer

RIYADH: The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has launched the “flexible work system” targeting private-sector Saudi individuals and facilities.

The new system will allow flexible contractual regulation to help job seekers work on an hourly basis while helping them supplement their income and protect the rights of employees and employers.

Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi said that the system would contribute to supporting the Kingdom’s economy and overcome the current crisis while continuing to achieve the goals set by Vision 2030 by increasing the participation of national cadres in the labor market and reducing unemployment rates.

The system aims to provide job seekers with opportunities and develop their skills and expertise to eventually become full-time employees. The program will work on reducing the number of irregular migrant workers in the shadow economy, as well as boost the participation of citizens and reduce the unemployment rate, with an online portal launched three months after issuing the decision.

Saud Alhokail, a human resources expert, said that the new law would have a positive impact on the labor market and create thousands of jobs.

“Governing the employer-employee relationships in such contractual contexts will definitely reduce labor disputes and enhance the performance of the market,” he told Arab News. “Both employers and employees will benefit from this law, which will reflect positively on the unemployment index,” he said.

The flexible labor system will provide wider options for businesses to choose laborers who can do urgent work without having to issue a long-term contract for temporary or seasonal jobs. The system will allow companies to meet unexpected needs for labor.

Alhokail, who has been in the field for more than 12 years, said that the system offered a good opportunity for anyone who wanted to make extra money on the side legally.

Saud Alqahtani, a human resources specialist, said that the new system could fit well with fields such as consultation and remote work but not for jobs requiring responsibilities such as delivery.

Murdhi Althonayan, who owns an industrial marble factory in Al-Khafji, said that the decision had been long anticipated and would help the contractual relationship between the employer and employee. He said that the people who would benefit most from the new system were those who applied for a project that required labor exceeding the number of the employees working for the company.

“All an employer has to do is to choose the labor with the skills most relevant to the line of work. Most companies and factories in remote areas and in places near the borders will benefit the most from the law because many employees will be interested in working for these companies when they realize that it is a temporary job and there is a law protecting their benefits and wages,” he said.

Mohammed Alhawas, a job seeker who is optimistic about the flexible contract system, said that it was an important step for those who wanted to build their skills. He had not been interested in working temporarily for a company in the past but became excited at the news as the relationship was regulated with the prospect that the company might approve of the employee’s evaluation after the designated period of the job and offer a full-time contract.

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