Bereavement leave for women in Saudi Arabia to go up to 130 days

January 16, 2013
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Bereavement leave on full pay for women in Saudi Arabia is to go up from 15 to 130 days under a proposal to amend the labour law.

The new Shura (Consultative) Council where women represent 20 per cent of the members will look into the proposal drafted by the labour ministry.

However, only Muslim women will benefit from the amendment, based on Islamic teachings that dictate women whose husbands die or who got a divorce to observe ‘Iddah’ — a waiting period of four lunar months and ten days (approximately 130 days) before they can remarry.

The 130-day leave can be extended, but without pay, for pregnant women, the new draft said, local Arabic daily Al Eqtisadiya reported on Monday.

Asma Al Ganem, a legal consultant, said that the 15-day bereavement leave in the Saudi labour law clashed with the Islamic concepts of fairness towards women.

“The labour system needed to be amended to bring it in line with Islamic teachings,” she said. “There are some private companies that give their women employees 130 days off for bereavement, but the way the leave is calculated is not very clear,” she told the daily.

The labour ministry in Saudi Arabia has been pushing for a series of reforms that included giving private sector employees two days off per week, reducing working hours to 40 and boosting employment opportunities for Saudi men and women.

Around 200 angry conservatives opposing gender mixing last month told the labour ministry that they would collectively pray that he gets cancer if he went ahead with a project to employ Saudi women in shops, claiming that it was demeaning to their social status and an insult to their values.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/bereavement-leave-for-women-to-go-up-to-130-days-1.1131848

         

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About the author

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

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