Saudi private sector to get 2-day weekly holiday

Saudi Arabia is planning to allow the private sector enjoy a two-day weekly holiday to increase output and attract nationals into private jobs, local website Emirates 24/7 reported citing an Arabic language daily in the kingdom.

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has endorsed a request by the Shura council (appointed parliament) to cut the daily weekly work hours to 40 from 48, the website reported citing Al Eqtisadiah Arabic, which quoted Ibrahim Al Suleiman, a Shura member.

“The council has received a Royal approval to reduce weekly work hours from 48 to 40…theoretically, this means that the private sector will work five days a week as is the case with the public sector,” he said.

“An agreement has already been reached between the ministry of labour and local businessmen to cut work hours in the private sector…in Shura, we are still studying this proposal and our discussions will be completed within 10 days.”

According to Ibrahim Suleiman, Saudis prefer the public sector because it has shorter work hours.

The new proposal would lure them into the private sector and support government efforts to tackle unemployment, he said.

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