Jeddah stores report rise in female employment

Fashion, cosmetics shops fall in line with January deadline to hire more saleswomen, cashiers
Jeddah stores report rise in female employment
Saudi women walk inside the Faysalia mall in Riyadh City
By Ed Attwood
Tue 27 Dec 2011 01:12 PM

Around 80 percent of women’s clothing and make-up shops in Jeddah have now hired Saudi saleswomen, according to a statement by the city’s chamber of commerce and industry.

The move is in line with Ministry of Labour regulations, which stipulates that positions such as clothes salespeople, cashiers and shelf arrangers must be filled by women.

The Arab News daily reported that the ministry had offered the shops a one-year grace period to ensure that all their staff were Saudi women, or they could face severe restrictions.

Although the regulations were announced as far back as 2005, it is only now that guidelines and a deadline – of January 2012 – have been set.

According to Adnan Al Mamdourah, the secretary general of the Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry (JCCI), 80 percent of stores selling products like cosmetics, abayas, lingerie and fashion items are now hiring local women.

"The owners of stores selling ladies items have not expressed a desire to postpone the decision of the Ministry of Labor making it mandatory to hire Saudi saleswomen,” Al Mamourah said, according to the newspaper.

The regulations are separate to the Nitaqat employment scheme, which is the government’s latest attempt to attract more locals into the Saudi private sector.

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