Saudi firms demand male consent for female workers
Riyadh, March 26, 2014
Companies and schools in Saudi Arabia’s private sector are stipulating that female employees obtain the consent of their male guardians when seeking work, said a report.
According to the Labour Ministry, the condition has been added to female employment contracts after many establishments encountered problems with working women and their families, said the Arab News report.
In the new contracts, guardians are obliged to sign alongside the signature of the applicant.
However, Saud Al-Snaitan, head of a field inspection team and a supervisor for women working in the private sector, said that this pre-condition had been abolished by the Ministry of Labour.
"The ministry does not oblige women to seek male consent, especially if they have surpassed the legal age. The role of the ministry is limited to the contracts that exist between companies and employees," he was quoted as saying.
"New regulations for working women, however, will be issued soon, in addition to developing existing laws," he said.
Transport is a major obstacle for women who work, with most companies requiring that women secure their own journey to and from work prior to signing the contract, paying them a monthly transport allowance instead, added the report.