Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has approved a recommendation to reduce working hours for jobs now barred from foreigners under the kingdom’s localization drive.
The decision was made on Wednesday after members deliberated on a report from the House Committee on Social Affairs, Family, and youth on amendments passed by the Council on Ministers.
The recommendation would see working hours in jobs now barred for foreigners, including in shops selling female-specific items, mobile phone accessories, gold and jewelry, and retail outlets in malls, reduced to 40 hours a week.
It would also see workers receive one additional paid day of leave a week to make the roles more attractive to citizens.
In contrast, many of the foreign workers being replaced in these roles would work 45 hours or more a week.
The Saudization drive in key industries comes as the kingdom seeks to reduce the unemployment rate among nationals, which was 12.8 percent in the third quarter.