Saudi Shoura Council to vote on change to labor laws

:: Changes to labor laws to protect employee rights will be among topics discussed by the Shoura Council on Monday.

In its 15th ordinary session, the council will explore two reports by the Social, Family, and Youth Affairs Committee on amending articles two, 75, 77, and 214 of the Labor Code.

The committee said that the private sector had misused Article 77 to dismiss Saudi employees. As such, this article infringed the principle of balance between the employer and the employee, and allowed employers to easily dismiss an employee without fair compensation.

Speaking to Arab News, Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a senior member of the Shoura Council, said: “The issue of protecting workers’ rights is very important and slated to be discussed next week during the ordinary session.”

He added that the proposal also seeks to fix working hours in the private sector to 40-hours a week, which is practiced by many companies but needs to be adopted by all.

“It calls for a five-day week with two days off and the working hours should not exceed 40 hours a week; in case they exceed this, the employee must be financially compensated,” he said.

The council will also vote on topics recommended by several specialized committees regarding reports by government organizations for the current fiscal year, including the annual reports of the General Auditing Bureau, General Sports Authority and Education Evaluation Commission.

During their 16th ordinary session on Tuesday, Shoura members will discuss the annual reports of the Saudi Arabian National Guard Forces, Social Development Bank, and Ministry of Education. Other topics include a report by the Committee of Economy and Energy on the annual report of the Ministry of Economy and Planning for the fiscal year.

During its 17th ordinary session on Wednesday, the council will vote on a recommendation to be submitted by the Social, Family, and Youth Affairs Committee on a draft project concerning the donation collection and disbursement system within the Kingdom. The system is formed of 22 articles and organizes fundraising in the Kingdom by setting regulations for collecting donations.

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