Reducing the working week to 40 hours will cost the country SR100 billion and 4 billion lost hours of work and production annually, Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has claimed.
Saleh Jamal, chairman of the MCCI, said there was an urgent need to study the implications of such a decision because it would affect 10 million working people. “We are still a developing country and need more national production, not a weakening of either the private or public sector.”
He said the MCCI board plans to study the effects of such a decision. “It has its pros and cons, but the negatives are much more because of the resulting costs.”
He said it was likely that some companies would re-evaluate their staff, perhaps fire some and reappoint them on new terms. “Others may fire their workers and seek cheaper staff, which could cause instability.”
He said it was not the right time to introduce such a measure because everyone was looking to the private sector to grow the economy.
Meanwhile, a source on the labor committee of the MCCI told a local publication that a two-day weekend would provide many benefits for foreign workers, which account for 85 percent of the private sector work force.
“They will get paid an extra day for free without having to abide by the contracts they signed to work 48 hours a week. In addition, they will get paid extra if they work more hours a week, which could see more money transfers to their home countries.”
Source :Arab News