Halwani Bros Company has become a pioneer among Saudi private companies by announcing SR 3,000 minimum salary for Saudi employees. The company's board meeting has taken a decision in this regard on Wednesday, according to a company statement placed on Tadawul's website. The decision will benefit 80 Saudis working at various plants of the company. In addition to this, the company has a plan to hire another 50 Saudis, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday.
According to the statement, the minimum salary of SR 3,000 includes other allowances after deducting social insurance premium. The new salary package will come into effect from Aug. 1. "The decision aims at boosting the efforts of the government to make available of job opportunities to as many Saudis as possible, in addition to enhancing the company's economic output. The company also wants to attract more Saudi workers to take part in its efforts to increase productive capacity," the statement said.
According to analysts, Halwani is the first company in the private sector to fix minimum salary of Saudi workers at SR 3,000. This comes at a time when the Ministry of Labor is putting the finishing touches to a regulation, making it mandatory to fix minimum salary for private sector employees. They pointed out that the company's decision would put some other companies in crisis because a large number of their staffers are drawing salary less than SR 3,000.
Khaled Al-Khudair, Saudi entrepreneur and founder of the website Glowork, hoped that all private companies, having a number of Saudi workers, would follow the example of Halwani with regard to minimum salary. "This will be an incentive to Saudi employees and would help boost their productivity," he said.
Al-Khudair founded the online platform in June 2011 as a job recruitment site that helps link women to employers in various parts of the Kingdom. To date, over 13,000 women have uploaded their CVs on the website, and thanks to a new partnership with the Labor Ministry, Glowork now has access to around 1.6 million CVs from women in Saudi looking for positions.
Faisal Al-Oqab, economic expert, said that the local companies enjoy great government support, and that was instrumental in scoring excellent performance results. "These companies are making high margin of profits. Then, what prevented them from fixing minimum salary at a rate that enables the Saudi employees to meet their expenses especially in the wake of high inflation and cost of living," he said.
The Jeddah-based Halwani is a leading Saudi food manufacturing company, and it produces and distributes Middle Eastern foodstuff in Saudi Arabia and internationally. The company, which was incorporated in 1952, provides Halawa, Tahina, Mamoul, dairy products, meat, jam, juices, sweets, provisions, cheese, ice cream, grains, spices and sugar, honey and wet wipes. The company's production capacity has risen to 50 tons of Tahina and 65 tons of Halawa daily.