The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development underlined its commitment to implement radical reforms in the labor market in both the public and private sectors. Those reforms, according to the ministry, include a set of initiatives that would increase economic participation, raise skills and productivity and improve market efficiency, in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, the ministry said that the reforms aim to support the development of existing systems and regulations, thus contributing to reforming the labor market and providing the appropriate legislative environment for the private sector, increasing its growth and creating an appropriate work environment that motivates the workers.
“The Saudi labor market has witnessed in recent years an escalating and continuous development, which reflects the leadership’s determination to support this sector as the backbone of the economy. Moreover, the Kingdom is witnessing an influx of huge investments, which requires keeping pace with the development by benefiting from the experiences of other countries, to reach the aspired goals under the leadership of the Saudi Crown Prince,” a former member of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Abdullah Al-Meleihi, told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Al-Meleihi added that the proposed amendments aim to improve the work environment, raise efficiency and maximize competitiveness to meet the requirements of the new leading projects, including The Line and NEOM.
Consultant and professor of law at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh, Dr. Osama Al-Obaidi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the draft amendment of the labor system aims to improve the business environment, reform the labor market, and provide an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for the development of the private sector, as well as supporting women’s participation.
Al-Obaidi stated that reducing the percentage of required nationalization for companies would help curb the costs and increase profits, thus boost economic growth.
The amendments will also lead to an increase in the localization of jobs by reducing the weekly working hours to 40 hours instead of 48 hours and adjusting the working hours in Ramadan to 30 hours per week instead of 36 hours, according to Al-Obaidi.
For his part, Economist Dr. Khalil Khoja told Asharq Al-Awsat that the package of amendments, proposals, procedures and initiatives recently launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development would enhance the digital economy
“The amendments cannot be separated from the Kingdom’s plan to provide decent job opportunities for citizens by intensifying rehabilitation and training programs that aim to produce qualified and professional cadres,” he emphasized.