Working on hourly basis to reduce unemployment


Al-Riyadh newspaper

I THINK it is about time for the private sector to end jobs that are paying a monthly salaries and have jobs that pay by the hour instead. It goes side by side with Vision 2030 and will help reducing unemployment to seven percent and even lower. These establishments employ more than eight million expatriate workers and employ only 1.98 million Saudis. The private sector failed in providing jobs to more than 773,000 unemployed Saudis and more than 1.08 million Saudis searching for a job in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the General Authority for Statistics. We need to benefit from the experience of the job market in advanced countries like in the United States. In the United States, salaries are paid on an hourly basis, and it is different from one state to another depending on the cost of living.

Labor force is one of the key elements of production and companies rely on them for profit and success. The demand on qualified labor force is much more important than the products and services he/she produces. The more the labor worker is qualified the more the product is better and that will strengthen competitiveness. The more the qualified labor worker works for few number of hours with good pay, the more his/her productivity increases and his/her loyalty to the establishment is strengthened and will achieve the operational and strategic objectives. Applying technology to the work place is a supporting element in limiting the number of low skilled and unproductive expat workers and for sure will limit recruitment of expat workers and introduced Saudi ones.

Working by the hour will motivate male and female Saudis to work as part-timers (four hours or less), based on the job they desire and with salaries that is compatible with the current economic situation and the annual cost of living all over the Kingdom. This will improve the income and put an end on extorting workers and force them to work for long hours without pay, which will later force many of them to resign or get bored from the job and for sure will become victim to Article 77 of the Labor Law.

The Labor Ministry can amend a number of articles in the system from monthly wages to hourly ones, with a minimum wage (Article 89). Salaries on monthly basis are a thing of the past. The practice does not conform to the objectives of Vision 2030. We need to learn from the advanced countries and make new modifications that will make major changes, which will limit the percentage of unemployment and improve income and productivity.

Paying on hourly basis will increase the percentage of unemployment by distributing it between full timers and part times. The hourly base jobs will improve income and help families use this income to pay for products and services.