Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Employers Placing Women in Night Shifts Face Fines

Fahd Al-Ghaithi, Arab News/Al-Eqtisadiah
Tuesday, 30, August, 2005 (25, Rajab, 1426)
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=69275&d=30&m=8&y=2005

RIYADH, 30 August 2005 ­ The Ministry of Labor has warned institutions in the private sector that women should not work during the evening. An exception is made for those in the medical field where their job requires them to work at night or that they are in a continuous working shift in a hospital that requires them to stay all day.

Muhammad Al-Duwaish, the director of the legal department and labor relations at the ministry, told Arab News that the Kingdom had signed an agreement with the International Labor Organization which states that women should not work in the evening. He said that the signed agreement was for their own protection and not discriminatory as some say. Al-Duwaish said that institutions found not complying with the rule could be fined. The fine ranges from SR500 to SR1,000.

In addition, the authorities will be informed and the female section of the institution will be shut down.Commenting on the appeals made by some women in the medical field who earlier asked the minister of labor to exempt them from the ruling since their jobs required that they be in the hospital in the evening, he said that there was no need for such appeals because women in the medical field had already been exempted.

Al-Duwaish said other countries which signed the agreement would also comply with it and that the Kingdom was not the only country applying a no-evening working hours for female employees. “All countries that have signed the agreement will comply with it, including Saudi Arabia,” he said.

He noted that women should understand that the agreement was not to take away any of their rights but was instead to protect them. #

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