Thursday, October 13, 2005

Saudi Arabia to allow more women workers, more benefits for them

3:22:37 PM

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Thursday reported that a new labor law has been passed by the Saudi Council of Ministers in line with the priority agenda of King Abdullah in addressing the problem of unemployment in the Kingdom.

Citing a report from Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bahnarim Guinomla, Acting Labor and Employment Secretary Manuel G. Imson said that one of the salient features of the new law include allowing women to work in all fields and their entitlement to maternity leave.

Imson said the new law also imposes an obligation on employers providing jobs to 50 women or more to arrange for babysitters who will take care of their children below six years old. The new law, he added, also requires companies to have at least 75 percent of their workforce to be Saudi nationals. However, this may be subject to reduction in instances where there is a shortage of qualified hands required by the companies, Imson said.

The new law also directed the Saudi Labor Ministry to establish employment offices that will provide free services to jobseekers and employers.

It also covers certain categories of workers for the first time including mine workers and the law aims to protect the rights of workers and ensures a balanced relationship between employers and employees.

The new labor law would surely impact on our overseas Filipino workers in that part of the region as the law is the realization of the Saudization plan of the Kingdom as well as its applicability to female OFWs deployed in that country, Imson said. #

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