By Courtney Trenwith
Total of 2,600 stores not meeting new mandatory requirements to hire women
More than 2,600 lingerie shops in Saudi Arabia have been caught violating new rules to employ women, the Labour Ministry has said.
The government recently made it mandatory for lingerie shops to hire women in a bid to increase their employment rates, with women traditionally unable to work.
Strict regulations around the segregation of male and female workers in the shops also were implemented.
A ministry official said of the 11,020 inspections that had taken place, there had been 2608 violations.
Those caught breaking the rules would similar punishment to businesses with the worse record under the kingdom’s Nitaqat system, which stipulates the number of nationals that must be hired in a firm.
“We’ll also impose fines on the violators,” Labor Ministry assistant undersecretary Fahd Al-Takhify was quoted as saying in Arab News.
“The government decision aims at creating a suitable working atmosphere for Saudi women.”
Al-Takhify said last year 1513 businesses found to have violated various labor regulations, including Saudization rules, were fined a total of SR11.1m ($2.95m).
More than 10,500 cases were heard, an increase of 22 percent. About 650 of the cases related to the employment of women.