Sunday, July 21, 2013

5-day week in private sector from August

5-day week in private sector from August. Levy on expats counterproductive: Experts

Amr Abdulwahid
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

The private sector will officially have a five-day week from next month, according to a source in the Ministry of Labor.

Like their public sector counterparts, private sector employees will now also have a two-day weekend without the need to put in extra hours during their working days. The source said that the working time per week will not exceed 40 hours.

The off-days will be decided by employers, said the source, adding that the law does not compel them to specify the off-days as in the government sector.

The source said that the ministry will safeguard the employees' rights in case the employer wants them to come to work on off-days, provided the employees agree. In that case, the employees should be given overtime in line with the regulations. The Ministry of Labor took numerous steps to encourage the Saudi youth to join the private sector, most important of which are specifying the minimum salary as SR3,000, reduction of working hours, providing two off-days and demanding the companies to make an organizational structure to protect workers' rights.

Meanwhile, a specialized company that carried out study about the pros and cons of the imposition of SR2,400 levy on foreign workers said that it was counterproductive.

The experts came to the conclusion that the demerits of the levy outweigh its so called benefits, said Abdullah Al-Mobti, Chairman of the Saudi Council of Chambers (SCC).

The Council presented the report to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the Supreme Economic Council (SEC).

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