Labor offices to work during Eid holidays

Updated 08 November 2013
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Labor offices to work during Eid holidays

The Ministry of Labor has urged private organizations, individuals and the expatriate work force to legalize their status before the fast-approaching deadline of Nov. 3 marking the end of the amnesty period.
Ziyad Al-Sayigh, deputy minister for customer services and labor relations, said that the Ministry had directed the various labor bureaus to work morning and evening shifts and to work during weekends and the Eid Al-Adha holiday.
The ministry has also tripled the number of staff in the customer services center (available on 920001173) to accommodate more calls.
“I would like to stress that 90 percent of procedures can be processed electronically without physically going to the labor bureau. This can be done through the ministry’s portal at mol.gov.sa,” said Al-Sayigh.
Expatriate workers can transfer their sponsorship from one company to another and they can also change their professions, with the exception of those who need to be in possession of professional certificates,” he said.
Al-Sayigh said individuals must cooperate in achieving the objectives of the normalization campaign. “It is a national duty to help fix irregularities in the labor market. The main cause for negative growth in some sectors is the concealment and employment of labor without work permits. Authorities will begin a campaign to ensure compliance with the regulations once the deadline is up.” Anyone who has not normalized their status by the Nov. 3 deadline will be subject to fines of SR100,000 and imprisonment for up to two years,” he said. “We have issued requirements for legalization in nine languages to avoid confusion.”
The Bangladesh Embassy, meanwhile, has called for an extension of the amnesty period to legalize the residency status of 400,000 Bangladeshis.
Muhammad Imdadul Haq, labor consultant at the embassy, said huge numbers of illegal Bangladeshi workers were likely to visit the embassy in the next few days. “We expect 400,000 Bangladeshi nationals to show up at the embassy to legalize their status, but it will be impossible to process their papers before the amnesty period ends,” he said.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.