‘Work from home’ project to begin next month

Updated 06 December 2014
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‘Work from home’ project to begin next month

The Ministry of Labor has initiated the trial application of telecommuting programs that will continue until the end of December, pending a ministerial decision that should outline the parameters of remote work, a source in the ministry said.
The ministry will officially announce the new telework program this January, in the hope that it will encourage Saudi women to work, as well as open more employment opportunities for disabled people.
According to the official source, young Saudis of both sexes have already started to work remotely with a number of companies that registered their names in the social insurance program, a factor that indicates that the program is already in its final stages.
The ministry will monitor the trial application of the program to follow up on its progress. One of the main targets of the program is to eliminate fake and ghost employment, and to allow more flexibility for employers.
The ministry allowed a grace period for the public to discuss the issue on its “Maan” (together) portal. Remote work employees under Nitaqat will include Saudi women and other categories of employees, who can benefit from the conditions of telecommuting, such as disabled people or those with chronic diseases.
Each working disabled person will be counted as four Saudi workers when calculating the Saudization ratio, on condition that their salary will not be less than SR3,000 and the employee is already registered in the social insurance program.
As for women, the new regulation stipulates the age segment to be between 18 and years, with prospective employees already registered in the social insurance program.
To encourage employers to hire women, the Saudization ratio for female workers will be calculated by 1.25, meaning that when a company hires four women, they are counted as five in the ratio.


Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

Updated 10 min 45 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that Iran’s interception of commercial vessels, including its seizure of a British tanker, in Gulf waters was a violation of international law and urged the global community to deter such actions.
“Any disruption of the freedom of international maritime traffic is considered a violation of international law and the international community must do what is necessary to reject it and deter it,” the Saudi cabinet said in a statement carried on state media.
Iran said on Friday it had seized Britain’s Stena Impero tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
Britain described the seizure as an act of “state piracy” and called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the world’s most important oil artery.