Shoura set to finalize 2-day weekend for private sector



ARAB NEWS

Published — Monday 24 December 2012

Last update 24 December 2012 2:41 am

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JEDDAH: The Shoura Council will review a study that recommends limiting working hours in the private sector to 40 hours a week and giving employees a two-day weekend.
The proposal by the council’s administration and human resources committee said adoption of the recommendations would make the private sector more attractive to Saudis.
“Work in the private sector will be limited to eight hours a day and will be from Saturday until Wednesday,” Abdul Rahman Al-Obaisi, a member of the committee, told Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily.
The new proposal replaces an earlier suggestion to reduce the number of working hours from 48 a week to 45.
However, the proposal was rejected amid calls to treat private sector employees like public sector staff and give them two days off a week. The Shoura is likely to push for adopting the new measures that go in line with labor market reforms.
Employees in the government sector are required to work 35 hours a week and are given Thursday and Friday off.
Such features and the greater job security it gives have made the sector a much more attractive option for new Saudi graduates and those seeking employment opportunities.
“The committee will present its study on reducing the number of working hours in the private sector to the general assembly of the Shoura Council,” Al-Obaisi said, adding that the Shoura would include the matter in the agenda of its next meeting.
“There was an agreement between the Ministry of Labor and businessmen to reduce working hours in the private sector to 48 hours, but the Royal Court has suggested that they should be changed to 40 hours per week,” said Ibrahim bin Abdullah Suleiman, another member of the committee.

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