Saudi Arabia’s private sector to have five-day weeks in 2013

May 7, 2012

The implementation of the five-day working week in Saudi Arabia’s private sector could start in early 2013, a labour ministry official has said.

The study of the idea by the ministry, commercial chambers, the Supreme Economic Council, business people and company owners is expected to be over within six months, the ministry source told local Arabic daily Al Sharq.

The idea of introducing a five-day working week was floated this year in a drive to match the public sector where employees are given Thursday and Friday off. Other aims included attracting more Saudis to take up jobs in the private sector and boosting productivity.

“Around 80 per cent of the private sector establishments and companies have approved the two-day break,” the source said. “However, they differed over whether to extend the working hours in the five days. There are those who insist on pushing them up to nine, while others insist on keeping the current eight hours.”

According to the source, the two-day break will not harm the privately owned companies and establishments.

“They can give their workers two consecutive days off as is the case in the public sector or they can allow them to take off on two separate days, according to their conditions,” the source said, quoted by the daily.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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