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KSA’s New “Women In The Workplace” Initiative: Where and How It Will Be Executed

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development kicked off 2019 by announcing their latest initiative that focuses on creating a comfortable work environment for women.

Following the announcement that would aid Saudi women in the workforce, Arab News reported that the new initiative, "aims to create an attractive working environment for women in various labor market activities, while also helping the private sector attract female workers."

These are just some of the things women in Saudi Arabia can look forward to when they start at a new job:

Equal Pay
One of the biggest issues women campaign about in America and Europe is exactly what Saudi Arabia will be granting to it’s women in the work place. The new plan bans employers from discriminating between men and women for “work of equal value”.

Not Having To Work Alone with Male Colleagues
Mixed gender workplaces will become the norm – however, when it comes to working together, there will be no less than 2 women working a shift amongst male colleagues, to ensure that no woman is left alone with a member of the opposite gender.

Some Sectors Will Have Women Only Work Premises
In Saudi’s hospitality industry, many companies aren’t permitted to hire women for cleaning jobs or room service – with an exception to female only resorts or hotels.

Women Will Be Exempt from Roles That May Expose Them to Danger
Saudi Arabia’s new “Women In The Workplace” initiative highlights that it "excludes the employment of women in industrial occupations and jobs that would expose them to dangers." So far the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development haven’t specified the kind of jobs that are “dangerous” for women to work in.

Specific Security Systems Must Be Implemented for Female Employees
The new initiative states that employers must "provide enough security guards or an electronic security system that is operated by women,” so that women are feeling safe in their work environment.

Further to that, women must be made to feel comfortable at work, in which case employers are expected to provide a separate cubicle/work station should a female employee ask. Companies must also ensure that are isolated prayer rooms and toilet areas for women.

Women Are Not To Be Pressured at Work
This particular rule under the new government initiative orders companies to not put “pressure on women's freedom in a way that does not conform to the labor laws." This is to ensure that managers are not enforcing protocols that are not in line with Saudi’s laws on female workers.

There Will Be Curfews for Women Working Night Shifts
Late shifts for women at work must end at 11pm – this regulation excludes women who are employed in “industrial activities” where the curfew is set at 6pm. It is only in an emergency, charity, working and health related situations that female employees can break the curfews. Arab News reported on the regulation, "Women can also work at night if they hold senior positions, or if they are working in establishments that fall under the supervision of the cities or governorates and their municipalities in the month of Ramadan and peak seasons and in the central areas of Hajj and Umrah, such as working in women's supplies shops or providing entertainment and nutrition services.”

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