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Monday, 9 November 2015

2 Days Weekend, 40 working hours a week for Private Sector – Proposal Underway

Every professional, whether white collar or blue collar has one thing in common, they all look forward to the weekend. It is an opportunity to unwind and relax and keep the occurrences of the work week behind them. Professionals or working people all indulge in some sort of activity (sleeping and lazing around are also activities) in order to unwind and relax and just take a break from their professional lives. Although most countries in general have a similar weekend i.e. Saturday and Sunday, while some other countries have Friday and Saturday off from work. Science has claimed through various researches that the weekend is in fact beneficial to the mental and physical health of the professional. Stress has a lot to do with the deterioration of the mental and physical health of professionals.



Keeping the importance of the weekend in mind, the Labor Ministry of Saudi Arabia has just made an announcement that they would be conducting a proper study in order to determine the possibility and viability of commencing a 2 day weekend and having a 40 hour work week for the professionals employed in the private sector. Via a tweet on the popular social media platform Twitter, from the official account of the Labor Ministry of Saudi Arabia has stated that they would be taking into account the input of the owners of the business and will also look at the disadvantages and advantages of the introduction of the measure and whether the Saudi youth would be attracted to the private sector in lieu of this new measure.



Several sources which were quoted in the media have made a suggestion that a majority of the private companies were to introduce this new 2 day weekend only and only if the Labor ministry will remove the levy of SAR 2400 and will make the work week into a 48 hour week.  In accordance to the reports, the authorities will be facing a severe dilemma as they will be trying their best to boost the employment in the private sector, especially in a period where oil prices are low and have placed a strain on the finances of the state and pose a threat to the economy.


Majority of the Saudi workers are employed in the public sector which offered various generous incentives such as a 35 hour week and also health benefits and huge pensions.  The majority of the private sector jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are held by a 10 million strong foreign expat workforce.


In order to reduce the burden placed on the public sector and also ultimately cut down the number of the foreign workers, the Saudi government has been considering to bring about a proposal which will be aimed to attract more Saudi nationals into the private sector in order to limit the work week only to 40 hour week down from the 48 hour week which is found in several firms, including two day weekends.

Source: Arab News

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