100% Saudization of malls comes into force

Women wearing masks for protection against the coronavirus, walk in the Mall of Dubai on April 28, 2020. (Getty Images)

The decision to implement total Saudization in closed commercial complexes (malls) came into force on Wednesday; Aug. 4; in all regions of the Kingdom.

This follows the announcement of the ministerial decision to Saudize 100 percent of jobs to Saudis in all activities and further professions in malls as well as at mall management offices; excluding a limited number of activities and professions.

This was markedly the first among the three decisions also the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi announced in April this year; and further these decisions aim to create 51;000 jobs for Saudis in the employment market.

The exempted activities and professions include cafes and further restaurants where the rate of Saudization shall be 50 percent and 40 percent respectively. The exempted activities also include hypermarkets and supermarkets.

The professions that are excluded from 100 percent Saudization are also cleaning work; loading and unloading; maintenance of recreational facilities; and barbershops.

However; the percentage of employees also should not exceed 20 percent of the entire workforce at the mall. There should also be identical uniforms for the workers.

2nd decision

The second decision; issued by the minister; is in order to increase the rate of Saudization in the sales outlets of restaurants and cafes in accordance with their classifications and required percentages specified in the procedural guide issued in this regard.

The third decision involves increasing the Saudization rates in the major central supply market outlets in accordance with their classifications; professions; and the required percentages and phases of Saudization specified in the procedural guide.

The new ministerial decisions; which are expected to create jobs for 51;000 Saudi men and women; were contained in the procedural guide issued on April 7. The ministry had stated then that the decision related to Saudization of malls would come into force on Aug.4; 120 days after the issuance of the guide.

In the guide; the ministry unveiled all the relevant details regarding the implementation of the decision in all its phases; including the grace period; the time period for implementing the decision; the activities targeted for Saudization; and the percentage of exemptions.

The ministry stressed the need to adhere to the decisions issued in order to avoid facing penalties against violators. Employers can have more details in this regard from the procedural guide published on the ministry’s website.