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Mon 6 Aug 2012 11:30 AM

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Saudi lingerie shops given female staff deadline

Lingerie outlets in kingdom have until end of Ramadan to employ entirely female workforce

Saudi lingerie shops given female staff deadline
Reem Asaad Saudi lingerie

Lingerie outlets and other women's accessories shops in Saudi Arabia have until the last day of Ramadan to be fully staffed by women in order to comply with new legislation, it was reported.

Any store found employing male workers beyond that date, likely either 18 or 19 August, will be closed down, Labour Ministry Undersecretary Fahd Al-Takhayyufi told Arabic daily Al Watan.

Establishments that do not cooperate with
the ministry will be penalised in the Nitaqat system, he

Inspections to guarantee that all lingerie
shops are staffed by women exposed several violations, including employment of
non-Saudi workers overstaying their visas, he said.

The goal of implementing the women-only directive
is not only to Saudize the sector, but it is also part of a move to provide a
safe environment for females to work in the Kingdom, he added.

Al-Takhayyufi clarified that the accounting
section in the shops is also reserved for Saudi women.

The ministry’s female inspectors found a number of errors when
the shop owners implemented the order to make lingerie shops women-staffed, he
said, adding that some shops had men accountants while all the sales girls were

According to Al-Takhayyufi, all violators will be given a grace
period until August 18.