Saudi businessmen oppose work hour cut
Riyadh, February 3, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s business community has opposed the move to reduce weekly working hours in the private sector from 48 to 40 hours, said a report.
The businessmen said the move would have a negative impact on the economy, increasing the sector’s economic burden by 33 per cent, said the Arab News report.
Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, president of the Asharqia Chamber, proposed to reduce the working hours from 48 to 45 hours instead of 40 hours. He has also called for a study to assess the economic impact of reducing working hours to 40 hours a week.
Al-Rashid refuted findings that long working hours is the main factor that discourages Saudis from working in the private sector.
In developed countries, an increase or decrease in working hours is based on a number of criteria, including efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness, said Al-Rashid, who is also a member of the Shura Council.
Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said a 40-hour workweek would have a negative impact on the economy and diminish the private sector’s achievements.
He pointed out that it will harm contractors, as well as operation and maintenance firms, while businesses will have to reconsider work contracts signed with their employees, as the present contracts are based on a 48-hour system.
Another employer pointed out that the bill would not attract more Saudis to the private sector as generally believed.
The private sector needs to be made attractive by enhancing its environment, making it more challenging and rewarding, he said.